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ASG_1409_COVER1 7/20/14 11:30 PM Page US_C1

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

CAN YOU REALLY TRUST YOUR CITYS RESOURCES?


HOW TO GET OFF THE GRID NOW

PREPPER
VITALS
MASTERING
MAP AND
COMPASS
SKILLS

PREP FOR
UNEXPECTED
TRAVEL
VOLUME 3 ISSUE 5

SPECIAL
SECTION

3 SCENARIOS,
3 WAYS

HOW TO
HUNT ETHICALLY
UNDERSTANDING
LAND STEWARDSHIP
FOR FUTURE
SURVIVAL
5 LEVELS OF
OUTDOOR SKILL

ON THE
MOVE
HOW TO
BUILD AN
ALCOHOL
STOVE

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ASG_1409_TOC 7/18/14 4:20 AM Page 4

48
COVER

PLAN B SUPPLY
The ultimate military
conversion vehicle
designed for survival
by Plan B Supply.
By Torrey Kim

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE (ISSN 2331-8937) Volume 3, Number 5 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_1409_TOC.CX.5 7/22/14 11:18 PM Page 5

VOLUME 3, ISSUE 5 | SEPTEMBER 2014

FEATURES
GENERAL
PREPAREDNESS
19 INTRODUCTION
20 TYING THE KNOT
Learning to tie knots can come in handy if
youre in a bind. By Torrey Kim

24 DENTAL DISTRESS
What to do if you have a toothache in an
emergency situation. By Garrett Kim

28 GRUB GEAR
Essential cooking supplies for bugging out.
By Torrey Kim

34 SURVIVAL CELEBRITY
Get the inside scoop on Discovery Channels
Naked and Afraid Star E.J. Snyder.
By Torrey Kim

38 STOVE SEMINAR

84 YOU ARE HERE


Navigation old-school: maps and
compasses. By Tony Nester

88 THE POWER OF PLANTS


Identify five wild edibles to use for survival
food. By Tony Nester

URBAN
PREPAREDNESS

42 FISHING RODS
52 FOOD AND WATER
74 TACTICAL BELTS
92 EMERGENCY BLANKETS
110 GLOVES

97 INTRODUCTION
98 TRANSIT TIPS

42

Make sure you prep well so you can rest


easy when you travel. By Tony Nester

102 RESOURCE REPORT


Determine if your citys water and air are
safe, and what to do if theyre not.
By Garrett Kim

DIY: Alcohol stoves are easy to carry and


economical to use. By Steven Paul Barlow

104 RADIO ACTIVE

HOMESTEADING

108 SUPPLY CENTRAL

PREPAREDNESS

BUYERS
GUIDES

52

A ham radio can be a lifesaver if the grid


goes down. By Garrett Kim

Nitro-Pak has what you need to get prepped.


By Michael DAngona

58 INTRODUCTION
60 PRESERVE TO CONSERVE
How to utilize a bumper crop and save for
emergencies. By Amber Erickson Gabbey

63 RAISING RABBITS
A perfect way to provide protein on a
homestead. By Michele Doele

66 THE GOOD LIFE


The Vehicle:
Plan B Supplys 1986
Expandable 6x6
Command Center
PlanBSupply.com
On Our Model:
5.11 Tactical Series
Flex-Tac Stryke Pant
Apex T-Rail Belt
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THE COVER:
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Gear: Courtesy of 5.11 Tactical Series
Designer: JESSE CAO

The off-grid Craft family shares its tips and


tricks. By Steven Paul Barlow

70 FORMIDABLE FORTRESS
Design your own dream home with Liberty
Custom Log Homes. By Torrey Kim

WILDERNESS

74
SPECIAL SECTION:

STEWARDSHIP
115 INTRODUCTION
116 A MATTER OF ETHICS
If you hunt to survive, make higher
principles your guide.

119 THE GOOD EARTH


We have to use the land to survive, but we
must treat it well for future generations.

122 GROWTH CHART


Find out what phase of being an
outdoorsperson youre in and how to get to
the next level.

PREPAREDNESS

COLUMNS

78 INTRODUCTION

FIRST WORDS 6
NEW PRODUCTS 8
NEWS & NOTES 12
GEAR REVIEW 16
PREPPING WITH RALSTON 128
CLOSING WORDS 130

79 SIMPLE SOLUTIONS
If youre lost in the wild, you can still get
rescued the old-fashioned way.
By Michael Neiswender

92

110

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

ASG_1409_EDIT_Layout 1 7/18/14 4:23 AM Page 6

FIRSTWORDS

BY BARRI SEGAL

VOLUME 3, ISSUE 5 / SEPTEMBER 2014


EDITORIAL
Editorial Directior: Jennifer Degtjarewsky
Editor-in-Chief: Barri Segal
Managing Editors: Kari Windes, Breanna Armstrong
Senior Creative Director: Eric Knagg
Art Director: Jesse Cao

TYING IT ALL
TOGETHER
OR KNOT

SEPTEMBER 2014

FEAR VERSUS LIFESTYLE

How many times do I read survivalists are preparing for the collapse
of society? Such prepper-energizing
events range from 9/11 to whatevers
up with the One World Order to unem-

ployment conspiracy to Syrian WMDs


to the cable news catastrophes-of-theweek. Its all so much more exciting
than survivalists like food.
The image of preppers acting out of
fear of impending events is a hackneyed reality-show clich. Above all,
prepping is about enjoying life even if
really bad things happen. While it may
be true that survivalists should be prepared for social disintegration, it is a
bigger deal to simply not be vulnerable
in the first place. Why? Because disintegration is a constant.
I live in earthquake country and am confident that I
have my family covered.
With disasters such as
Sandy, Katrina, Northridge none were
exactly The End Times,
but were talking weeks
and months when plenty of
people wished they had purchased a generator or stocked up on
food and water, had personal protection, and even just extra clothes.
I do believe that eventually there
may be an event that shakes the foundation as we know it, but I ultimately
just want to preserve the way of life my
family needs to flourish. I choose to
take care of them, rather than trust that
society will if something happens.
In this months issue theres something for every need. Find out more
about alternative transportation, griddown communications, cooking, storage, dental first aid, urban and wilderness prep there is even a bit of
proactive knot making, of course.

Resources: Fink, Bruce, The Lacanian Subject: Between Language and Jouissance (Princeton University Press,
1996), ISBN 978-0-691-01589-7

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

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
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PHOTO BY THINKSTOCK

JUST BECAUSE YOU CAN TIE something together, doesnt mean youve
used the right knot.
In 2012, Yosemite climbing legend
John Long was seriously hurt at a Los
Angeles gym when his bowline knot
came undone during a demonstration.
That same year the exact same mistake
killed 73-year-old British climber
David Rothman. Unfortunately, this
happens to some poor climber almost
every year. So knowing this, why keep
using this knot?
How about just using a better
knot? A climbers alternative
is the figure eight, which
suffers from a reputation
for being a bear to untie.
Psychoanalytically
speaking, this strikes me
as nutty logic. In Lacanian
terms, angst motivates the
selection of a bowline knot;
its easier albeit riskier, but
youre in a hurry and maybe even a little stressed. Desire motivates using the
figure-eight follow-through knot,
because its uber-reliability offsets the
extra effort needed for untying it. Isnt
that exactly the kind of knot you want
to trust your life with?
What kind of knot ties you to survivalism? Loose or secure? Based on
fear or lifestyle?

CONTRIBUTORS

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE (ISSN 2331-8937)


Volume 3, Number 5 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
BECKETT MEDIA, LLC
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SINGLE COPY SALES
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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.

ASG_1409_7 7/20/14 10:43 PM Page 7

ASG_1409_8-9 7/17/14 2:18 AM Page 8

NEWPRODUCTS

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

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be unwound and transformed into a durable,
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identification, medical information, a name or
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except on your wrist!

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

Defining Features: A family favorite has been


Defining Features: Are you sick and tired of your

wristwatch breaking? If youre looking for a heavyduty watch, Reactor Gryphon is the watch for you.
This watch claims to be the toughest tactical watch
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stainless steel version, all at half the weight.

updated revamped. The Crosslock Hoofpick now


offers a hoof pick and modified spear-point
blade. The textured handle has added features
for an easy grip, with or without gloves. Weighing in at a total weight of only 4 ounces, the
Crosslock Hoofpick is durable yet lightweight for
everyday carry. You can easily pack in back in its
nylon sheath and it also includes a belt clip for
pocket carry. The blade is perfect for everyday
use and features one-hand opening and closing.

ASG_1409_8-9 7/17/14 2:18 AM Page 9

6
4. SECUR PRODUCTS

5. KOSMO COOLERS

6. CRKT

PRODUCT: Sun Power Bank 6000


WEBSITE: SecurProducts.com
MSRP: $129

PRODUCT: Safe Keeper Storage Vault


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PRODUCT: Hoodwork Survival Fixed Blade


WEBSITE: CRKT.com
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Specifications:

Specifications:

Dual high-efficiency solar panels for fast charging


High-capacity lithium polymer battery
Dual female USB ports for charging any digital
devicescharge iPhone and iPad at the same time
Built-it full-size and mini male USB cable and
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Built-in micro USB for charging via any USB
power source
LCD display screen indicator for current battery
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Water resistant and built to travel

Hermetically sealed
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Available in 12- and 18-gallon sizes
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Carry handle on lid and carry grip-molded sides
Stackable

Specifications:
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Steel: 1095 high-carbon, 56-58 HRC
Thickness: 0.160 inch
Finish: acid etch, sandblast, ceramic coating
Weight: 4.0 ounces

Defining Features: Keeping prized and valuable

Defining Features: Survival expert, Karen Hood,

possessions in a vault is an intelligent, safe and


secure decision, especially in any kind of emergency scenario. The Safe Keeper Storage Vault is
a hermetically sealed, leakproof vault created to
protect important documents and hold personal
emergency supplies. Its constructed from a thick,
no-break polypropylene, allowing it to hold
heavy objects such as canned foods and ammo.
The durable frame also enables you to stack it
without affecting its structural integrity, which is
great when you need to maximize space.

offers a super knife to keep by your side in the


great outdoors. Its made of high-carbon steel for
ruggedness and durability, and it can withstand
all that Mother Nature can dish out, including
wind, rain and sleet. Each knife is handcrafted
and includes a corrosion-resistant ceramic coating. The scales are removable so you can lighten
the load and wrap the handle with paracord.

Defining Features: Harness the power of solar

energy to charge your smart phone, tablet, MP3


player, iPod, GPS, camera or other digital device
on the go. This is the ultimate solar panel: it provides 21.5-percent efficiency with broad light
spectrum and up to twice the charging power of
traditional solar cells. It provides long-lasting
charges, you can recharge a smart phone twice
and a cell phone up to six times without recharging the battery.

CAN'T GET ENOUGH ASG? WHEN YOU'RE NOT OFF


THE GRID, BE SURE TO FIND US ON FACEBOOK.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

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THE RENEGADE
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ASG_1409_NEWS 7/17/14 2:28 AM Page 12

Texas Disaster
showed. Since 1953, Texas has
declared 86 major disasters.
California holds the distinction
of coming in second, with 78 major
disasters in the same time period,
followed by Oklahoma, New York,
Florida, Louisiana, Alabama, Kentucky, Arkansas and Missouri.
Takeaway: No state is immune
from natural disasters, but if youre
planning to settle down and trying
to find the safest spot, consider the
statistics and steer clear of the
more disaster-prone areas.

PHOTO COURTESY OF OUTDOOR LIFE

BETWEEN VOLCANOES, tornadoes, hurricanes, avalanches and


blizzards, it seems like every state
in the U.S. has its share of natural
disasters. But if youve ever wondered just which state suffers the
most, Texas has that distinction.
Thats the word from an NBC
News study of the major disasters
that have struck in this country over
the past 60 years. With Texas being
situated by the coast and also being
one of the largest states in the U.S.,
it has suffered, at least one major
disaster every year, the study

Read And
Get Ready

SEPTEMBER 2014

PHOTO BY THINKSTOCK

WHEN YOU THINK about


preparing for anything, your
mind probably immediately goes
to the danger you fear most
whether its a tornado, an EMP,
a nuke or chemical warfare, you
probably have an idea of what
youd do if that one specific disaster happens. But to truly prepare for anything, you need a
well-rounded set of skills.
Thats where the Prepare for
Anything Survival Manual
comes in; you can discover 333
essential skills within the pages
of Tim MacWelchs extremely
comprehensive book. Lightweight and easy to carry on
your next trek, the book should
be required reading for any survivalist who wants to be able to
get out of a tight spot.
My favorite parts of the book
offered instructions Ive never
seen anywhere else. For example, MacWelch guides you on
topics from how to build a water
turbine. Youll also learn how to
hold a gun, and make an animal
trap. In other words, pretty
much everything youll ever
need to know to ensure your
family makes it out of any situation alive. ED

12

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

YOU CAN FIND MACWELCHS BOOK,


WHICH COSTS $27, ON AMAZON.COM.

ASG_1409_NEWS 7/17/14 2:28 AM Page 13

Treehouse Test

PHOTO BY THINKSTOCK

IF YOUR VISION of an outdoor life


includes an eventual future living in a
treehouse, now is your chance to try one
out for size. The Treehouse Point facility
in Fall City, Wash. (just outside of Seattle) allows you to spend the night in a
functional treehouse so you can decide
if the high life is right for you.
When you make a decision about
whether the treehouse getaway is a
good start to what you want to be a
permanent sky-high adventure, you
can check out the Nelson Treehouse &
Supply facility, which is right on the
same property. Nelson offers treehouse
building supplies as well as design
plans so you can get started on your
retreat as soon as possible.
To check out the companys offerings, visit: TreeHousePoint.com.

WERE IN THE thick of hurricane season right


now, which spans annually from June 1 to Nov.
30. If you think youre covered because youve
typed out a plan and emailed it to your family
members, think again.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
strongly recommends that you print all important resources before a hurricane strikes, the
agency says. Power outages during and after
a hurricane can prevent you from accessing
information online when you most need it.
Your plan should include the steps youll
take in preparing for a storm, including placing
wood on your windows and moving your deck
furniture indoors. In addition, you should have
paper maps that show you your best evacuation route, and have enough gas to power any
automobiles or generators you have on-hand.
If you do plan to use generators to keep
your refrigerator or fans running after a hurricane, remember to place them outside at least
20 feet away from the house so you prevent
carbon monoxide poisoning.
Takeaway: If you create a comprehensive hurricane strategy now, you wont be surprised if
a storm strikes in the near future.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

SEPTEMBER 2014

PHOTO BY THINKSTOCK

Hurricane Plan

13

ASG_1409_NEWS 7/17/14 2:28 AM Page 14

Survival Trash

PHOTO BY THINKSTOCK

ITS BEEN SAID that one mans trash is anothers treasure,


but that statement was never more true than in June,
when a 74-year-old Florida woman survived in the
woods by eating granola bars and drinking soda left
over in discarded bottles.
In addition to her foraging skills, the woman also
created a makeshift camp by filling a plastic bag
with leaves and using it as a pillow, according to the
UK Daily Mail, which reported on the survival story.
The woman had granola bars in her purse, but did
not have a cell phone or other signaling device
when she left home and headed into the woods.
Although she suffered from dehydration and bug
bites, the woman was otherwise healthy when she
was found on the side of the road while trying to flag
down help.
Takeaway: No matter how long you plan to be out for a
hike, a walk or a hunt in the woods, take a communication
or signaling device, a means of hydration, and some food. In
addition, get your bearings if you dont know the trail well, and
consider taking along a map or compass.

SEPTEMBER 2014

BUILDING A HOME in the forest (or near


one) seems idyllic in every way, except
one: the risk of wildfires grows the closer
you are to the woods. When the summer
and fall are dry, wildfires are more likely
to occur and they can spread quickly,
putting everything in their path at risk.
If you live in a wildfire-prone area, you
should create an emergency kit now, says
the Federal Emergency Management
Agency. It should include food, water,
medications, and other supplies that youd
need for at least 72 hours when you have
to evacuate from a fire. In addition, know
that your electricity, gas, water, and
sewage treatment could be offline for up
to a week or longer, FEMA says. Therefore, your supply kit should include jugs of
water, blankets in case your heat is off,
and flashlights.
Takeaway: Be aware of the wildfire risk
in your region, and have all of the supplies
youd need to stay safe if one hits.

14

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

PHOTO BY THINKSTOCK

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ASG_1409_REVIEW.CX.16,18 7/22/14 11:20 PM Page 16

GEARREVIEW

PACK IT UP
Putting Randalls Adventure Training/ESEE
Knives New Survival Pack To The Test
TEXT AND PHOTOS BY TERRILL HOFFMAN

FEW ANTICIPATE the sudden,


and often life-changing, events
that can occur at a moments
notice.
As a reader of American Survival
Guide, however, youre one of those
select few who realize that life is not
perfect and plans for the unexpected.
A good survival kit is simply a
must if you want to prepare properly.
Charged with testing Randalls
Adventure Training/ESEE Knives new
offering in this arena, I put it through
its paces and lived to tell about it.

SEPTEMBER 2014

THE PACK

16

By the time youre reading this


issue, the kits should be available to
the public; they are in the final
stages of testing as I write this. I
was fortunate to get my hands on
one to try out.
Fashioned from heavy nylon in
either blaze orange or olive drab, the
main compartment of the bag is
about 8 inches wide, 12 inches long
and 6 inches deep. Made in the U.S.,
its good bit larger than the traditional pocket kit and is designed to
be slung over the shoulder as a small
daypack or attached to a larger pack.
There is a carry handle at the top
and molle-style webbing on the back
to attach additional gear or facilitate
other carry options. The bag has a
secondary pocket sewn on the outside and a removable tri-fold ID/map
case.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

A GOOD SURVIVAL KIT


IS SIMPLY A MUST IF
YOU WANT TO PREPARE
PROPERLY.

ASG_1409_REVIEW 7/21/14 2:49 AM Page 17

The secondary zippered pocket is


8 inches long, 5 inches wide and
1 inches deep. The heavy-duty zipper on the main compartment
enables you to open it fully and gain
instant access to any item. Once
opened, there is a nylon, netted
pouch on the underside of the flap.
Two smaller, specialized pouches
reside in the main body of the pack.

CONTENTS

PLAY TIME
Before starting on my journey, I
added my favorite aluminum water
bottle, some smaller bandages, a
few packages of soup mix and 20
feet of 550 cord to the kit. Then, for
the next week I carried the kit with
me everywhere I went. If I went for a
walk, I would throw it over my shoulder and while going to town to check
the post office, I would toss it in the
car. The bag became my constant
companion; no matter how good a
survival kit is, its useless if you leave
it at home.
One evening I chose to try out the
C-Light by riding up the mountain on
my ATV while my wife kept watch off
of the front porch. She could follow
my path to the top, which is a distance of just more than a mile. As
long as we had line-of-sight, the light
was good to go. As a side note: I
keep a Photon LED light around my
neck 24/7 and have done so for
years. This should supply most of any
needed light around a campsite and
save the batteries of the C-Light for
the intended purpose of signaling.
The next morning I used the signal mirror to attract the attention of
a neighbor who lives on a ridge four

[1] The tarp can serve as a signal panel, lean-to


shelter or ground cloth. Once the sides are
snapped together and it is stuffed with glass or
leaves, it even makes a decent mattress. [2] On
a sunny day a Fresnel lens only takes moments
to heat tinder to the ignition point. Dont forget that if you have glasses, the lens can act as
a magnifier. [3] Included with this kit is an
ESEE-4 fixed blade knife. As a do-everything
utility blade, this knife cannot be beat. If you
have looked at the small emergency fishing kits
and thought they were nothing but a gimmick;
youre wrong. These were caught in fewer than
30 minutes with just the line and a small fly.
[4] The removable map case and compass supplied with the kit are worth their weight in
gold. Learn the proper use of both before you
need them.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

SEPTEMBER 2014

Any kit is only as good as its components, and Randall has chosen only
quality gear for this model. The secondary pocket holds a C-Light by
ACR Electronics, Inc. (an emergency
signal light thats Coast Guard
approved and can be viewed from a
distance of two miles) and a Thin H
Bandage thats sealed for sterility. (I
suggest you obtain a second bandage, open it and practice with it
prior to an emergency.)
The main compartment houses an
ESEE 4 fixed-blade knife with a
Kydex sheath, which is simply one of
the best survival/utility blades on
the market. The side of the main
compartment features a 60 x 60-inch
blaze orange nylon signal panel that
serves as signaling aid and/or a
small tarp to provide cover; you can
even use its attached snaps to create a mattress by stuffing it with
leafy debris.
Two emergency survival blankets
by NDuR are included, as well as two
packs of Utility Flame tender gel.
Four 1-quart plastic bags are
included for gathering water and two
1.5-mil yellow trash bags can act as
emergency ponchos, shelters or
ground cloths. Little needs to be said
about the usefulness of the 25 feet
of 8mm Prusik rope and Black Diamond load-rated karabiner in the kit.
One pocket in the main compartment contains a survival fishing kit by
Best Glide ASE and two sets of valuable information cards printed by
Randall Adventure and Training that
can help with land navigation and
basic survival info. The other main
compartment pocket houses an aluminum mess tin by Trangia. This kit

consists of a rectangular pot with a


folding handle and cover that are suitable for cooking or boiling water for
purification. Inside youll find a host of
useful objects, including a Swedish
FireSteel, Brunton compass, safety
matches, emergency signal mirror and
Fresnel lens, Victorinox Hiker
pocket knife, wire saw, water purification tablets and two Brite Strike
Green APALS lights. The rest of the
items in the kit consist of smaller
items like a Kevlar trip line, duct tape,
Tinder Quik fire tabs, snare wire, an
emergency whistle, orange survey
tape, two sewing needles, a Ranger
Band and a lead pencil.
I talked to the kit makers and
they stressed that they intend this to
be a foundation for your prep needs
and that each individual should tailor
it by adding additional gear to fit his
or her needs.

17

ASG_1409_REVIEW.CX.16,18 7/22/14 11:20 PM Page 18

GEARREVIEW
miles away. I think he was rather
shocked with how bright such a small
mirror can be. One thing to keep in
mind is that there is a minor learning
curve involved in using a signal mirror. You should practice now
because during the few moments
that rescue plane is flying over your
location is no time to pull out the
instructions.
Ive done it thousands of time, but
starting a campfire always gives me a
little peace of mind. The kit provides
two methods of fire starting, but I
put away the matches and chose my
favorite method: the fire steel.
The highlight of my testing came
with the fishing kit. Going fishing is
fun. Going fishing when you need to
depend on it to eat? Not so much.
It only took about 30 minutes at my
pond to have enough fish for a
meal. Granted, they were all small
and I wouldnt have any of them
mounted, but when youre hungry,
size doesnt matter.
All in all, I practiced with the new
kit for more than a week and tried
out most of the items supplied.
None of them failed to work as
intended and I cannot think of any
that I would replace.

THE JURYS IN

SEPTEMBER 2014

The new kit by Randalls Adventure and Training should be on the


market in no time. At the moment
there is no suggested retail price,
but its aiming to make the price reasonable. The entire kit will be worth
the expense, but you also have the
option of buying just the pack and
using the kit as a guideline to creating your own.
Planning for the unexpected is
being smart, not paranoid. This kit is
one of the most intelligent choices
you can make.

18

Terrill Hoffman fell in love with the outdoors when he


became an Eagle Scout in the 1960s. He is a freelance
writer and found and host of PWYP (Practice What
You Preach), an annual gathering of survival enthusiasts from across the nation. He lives with his wife at
the Chestnut Mountain proving grounds in the
foothills of N.C.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

[5] The zipper on the main compartment


enables you to fully open the bag to expose its
contents. [6] The Victorinox Hiker pocketknife is a tool of legend. The saw blade will
make the finer cuts needed to fashion a snare
trigger. [7] A simple signal mirror no bigger
than a playing card reacts like a beacon once
the sun strikes its surface. [8] The kit comes
with two lights, but they have specific uses. I
would add in a small Photon to expand my
options. Adding a few spare batteries is
another good idea. [9] With half a dozen
attachment rings and five rows of webbing, the
kit can be carried several different ways. Even
if you are carrying a larger pack, this kit can be
easily attached.

CONTACT INFORMATION
Randalls Adventure & Training / ESEE Knives
P.O. Box 99 Gallant, AL 35972 (256) 613-0372 ESEEKnives.com JungleTraining.com

ASG_1409_INTRO_GENERAL-CX2 7/24/14 12:42 AM Page 19

IN THIS SECTION

KNOT MAKING + DENTAL FIRST AID + EJ SNYDER INTERVIEW + MORE

IMPROVISE
TO SURVIVE
Tips And Tricks To
Make Things Work
In The Toughest Of
Circumstances

SEPTEMBER 2014

PHOTO BY THINKSTOCK

COULD YOU SURVIVE in the wild with


nothing but the clothes on your back?
How about if you had a knife? Some
rope? Its hard to imagine how wed
survive without the comfort of a
sturdy tent or a ready-to-eat meal by
the fire, but to truly be a survivalist,
we should all know a few basics that
can help us get out of a bind if nature
decides to strike back and were
armed without our gear. Unforeseen
circumstances like spoiled food, a
frayed rope or tooth pain can knock
plans on their backsides, forcing us to
improvise exactly what wed do in a
truly dire situation.
On the following pages, youll find
solutions to your knot-making struggles, information on what to do about
dental first aid, the basics on survivalist cooking gear, and an inside look at
how survivalist EJ Snyder has survived
on several television shows without
even the clothes on his back.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

19

ASG_1409_KNOTS.CX.20 7/23/14 7:17 AM Page 20

GENERAL

TYING
THE

KNOT
I

F YOU THINK THAT KNOT TYING IS ONLY A USEFUL SKILL FOR


SAILORS AND RAPPELLERS, ITS TIME TO THINK BACK TO YOUR LAST
TRIP INTO THE BACKCOUNTRY.
Whether youre pitching a tent, tying tomatoes to a stake or securing
crab traps, youll need to know how to tie a few basic knots to ensure that
you dont lose your gear.
To help you determine which types of knots work best for your survival
needs, we turned to Navy veteran Andrew Campbell, who spent 20 years
teaching survival skills and now lives on a boat, where he finds uses for knot
tying every day.

SEPTEMBER 2014

KNOT VERSUS HITCH

20

If youre tying your rope to somethinglike you would do when you secure
a rope to two trees and hang your tarp over it for shelterthen you technically
might not be using a knot at all, Campbell says.
If youre tying the line to something, its usually called a hitch, he says.
A knot is when you tie the line to itself. Knot tying is considered more
common for maritime uses while hitches are extremely useful on land. But both
would be important for survivalists, he adds. In addition, youll often use a
bend, which can tie two different ropes together.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

MANUAL
DEXTERITY
If youre holding on to a ledge and you
need to rescue someone who fell down it,
you dont have two hands available to tie a
knot. But there are knots that can be tied
with just one hand, the most well-known
and useful of which is the bowline.
You can tie this with one hand if you
practice, Campbell says.
Therefore, after learning the bowline
tying method, practice tying it with just
one hand. Then, if you really want to
increase your survival skills, practice tying
it with the other handyour non-dominant
one. That way, youre better prepared for
any survival situation.

PHOTO BY THINKSTOCK

LEARN WHICH KNOTS


WILL GET YOU OUT OF
A BIND IN A SURVIVAL
SITUATION BY TORREY KIM

ASG_1409_KNOTS.CX.20 7/23/14 7:18 AM Page 21

YOU CAN TIE A BOWLINE KNOT WITH ONE HAND IF YOU PRACTICE.
SURVIVAL EXPERT ANDREW CAMPBELL

For example, you would commonly use a


square knot (also known as a reef knot) to
tie two ends of a rope together or to tie a
rope around an item (for instance, a sleeping
bag) to keep it secure. The square knot is
great for this purpose because you can easily
undo it when you need to access the item
quickly. (Image 1)
If, however, you needed to tie your horse
to a post on your homestead, you might benefit from a clove hitch, which allows you to
quickly tie the rope to an item and then
release it quickly when you need to get on
the road. (Image 2)

FIVE TIES

Even if youve practiced for


hours and youre sure you
know your knots, dont wait
until youre in a survival situation to test them out.
Holding your body weight
above a cliff isnt for
novices, nor is tying your
entire bug-out pack to the
top of a car and hoping it
stays there. Always test your
knot-making abilities at
home during your survival
drills to make sure you dont
need extra pointers before
heading into the wild.
2

PHOTO BY THINKSTOCK

Anyone living the survival lifestyle should


know at least five knot-tying techniques,
Campbell saysbut which knots you learn
will depend on what youre doing.
Without knowing someones purpose,
Id advise they learn the five most general

PRACTICE

SEPTEMBER 2014

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

21

ASG_1409_KNOTS.CX.20 7/23/14 7:18 AM Page 22

TYING THE

KNOT

ANYONE LIVING THE SURVIVAL


LIFESTYLE SHOULD KNOW AT LEAST
FIVE KNOT-TYING TECHNIQUES.

the figure eight knot in both boating and


climbing situations is that it gets tighter when
weight is applied to the end, thus allowing
you to be sure of its security. (Image 4)
The sheet bend ties quickly and is a great
way to tie two lines together if they fray
apart or if you just need a rope longer than
the one you have.
If you have two lines of the same size, a
reef knot can typically secure them together,
but if theyre different sizes, you usually need
a sheet bend, Campbell says. (Image 5)
A taut line hitch is extremely useful when
holding down your tent lines, hanging a hammock or securing a load of supplies on the
back of a mule, horse or car. You can create
the knot to your desired tension, but can
adjust it as needed if you have to add something to your supply pile or remove something later.

ONE AT A TIME

SHRINKAGE

SEPTEMBER 2014

Ropes made of natural fibers can tighten


or shrink as they get
wet, which often happens while fishing or
when camping in the
rain. Keep an eye out
for this situation if
youre using a natural
rope and the weather
gets wetthat way
you can let out slack
as needed to keep
your items safe.

22

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

and useful methods, which would probably


be the reef knot, the clove hitch, the bowline
and the figure eight, plus either the sheet
bend or the taut line hitch, Campbell says.
Once you know these five, you have a
great foundation.
The bowline knot is a must because its
easy to tie and can allow you to pull an animal, a person, or another heavy object out of
a dangerous situation if you tie it properly,
thus making it a potentially life-saving knot.
This is the knot youve seen in movies
someone throws what looks like a lasso down
to a person who has fallen into a crevasse
and tows them out. The bowline creates a
loop that the person can step into before
being pulled to safety. (Image 3)
A figure eight knot is great for maritime
uses because it ensures that your line wont
slide through a cleat, thus ensuring security
of the line. Many rock climbers use the figure
eight to secure their harnesses, making it
absolutely essential for their safety when on
the face of a mountain or cliff. The beauty of

A common mistake is to try learning all of


your knots at the same time, Campbell says.
It can be easy to mix them up this way, he
advises. Instead, learn one and be able to
tie it consistently without mistakes before
you move on to the next one.

NO EXCUSES
Now you know which knot-tying techniques can improve your odds of survival.
Learn them and hone your skills; theyll come
in handy in a number of serious situations.

LEARN ONLINE
If you dont have scouting or maritime training,
you can either get a book that shows you how to
make knots or check online. Sites such as AnimatedKnots.com or YouTube.com offer easy ways to
learn how to tie the knots youll need to survive.

ASG_1409_23 7/18/14 12:08 AM Page 23

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ASG_1409_DENTAL 7/17/14 2:48 AM Page 24

24

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

ASG_1409_DENTAL 7/17/14 2:48 AM Page 25

GENERAL

DENTAL
DISTRESS
BY GARRETT KIM

ts not likely youll be able to access a dentist


immediately in a bug-out or on-the-trail situation
if you have a sudden toothache.
Tooth pain can be brutal, and it can prevent you
from doing what you need to do in a survival scenario. To find out how to deal with intense tooth
pain on the goat least until you can get to a dentistwe enlisted the help of Colorado campsite
director Carrie Burke, who has a lot of experience
with mouth pain in the great outdoors.

Cloves and clove


oil are well-known
natural remedies
for tooth pain.

HELP
It started out as a regular day at the Colorado campsite
that Burke managesshe was checking tents and organizing activities for the day as usual, when a middle-aged man
came running toward her, clutching the side of his mouth.
He was in agony, she says. He had severe tooth
pain and didnt know any dentists in the area. Fortunately, Burkes training had included field first aid, and
she had several at-hand remedies for toothaches in her
first aid kit. I had him rinse with warm water that had
salt and garlic in it, and then told him to chew on cloves.
His tooth pain was completely gone in less than an hour.

EVALUATE

HERBAL REMEDIES
There are many herbal remedies available for tooth pain. Calendula and echinacea soothe sore gums and reduce inflammation; they are also good to treat Candida albicans, an opportunistic yeast that causes thrush in the mouth.
Lavender oil can also help clear thrush, reduce inflammation and heal sores. If your gums are infected, goldenseal and
Oregon grape can help kill bacteria. In addition, rosemary has
antiseptic properties that can help heal painful canker sores.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

SEPTEMBER 2014

Your mouth is home to many structures besides your


teeth, and youll have to pinpoint the true source of your
pain before you know how to address it. If you have
access to the Internet when your pain strikes, theres one
easy-to-use resource that can help.

PHOTO BY THINKSTOCK

PHOTO BY THINKSTOCK

HOW TO DEAL WITH MOUTH PAIN WHEN A DENTIST IS NOWHERE TO BE FOUND

25

ASG_1409_DENTAL.CX.26 7/22/14 11:24 PM Page 26

DENTAL
DISTRESS

Add some salt to


warm water and
rinse well to help
relieve pain.

In addition to keeping a few toothache remedying items in your pack, you


should also make sure you have a pair of scissors. The reason, the American
Dental Association says, is that people often use their teeth to cut things (such
as string) and end up hurting their teeth or gums this way. If you have scissors
available, use them for cutting and save your teeth for eating your dinner.

AVOID CHEWING ICE, POPCORN KERNELS AND HARD CANDY,


ALL OF WHICH CAN CRACK A TOOTH.

Never chew
anything hard.

PHOTO BY THINKSTOCK

THE AMERICAN DENTAL ASSOCIATION

DONT
CHEW
NONFOODS

SEPTEMBER 2014

Although it may seem


obvious to keep hard
items out of your mouth,
one of the biggest causes
of broken teeth is from
people chewing things
they shouldnt, such as
ice cubes. If you want to
cool down, you can sip
ice water or suck on ice
chips, but dont try and
bite down on anything
hard, especially ice.

26

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

The American Dental Associations conRinsing with water enhanced with salt,
sumer website is MouthHealthy.org. It
garlic or cloves can help ease your pain as
includes a symptom tracker, so if folks are
well, Burke says. You can soften whole cloves
trying to decide if they need to see a dentist
by holding them in your mouth, then gently
and are able to access the site, this may be
chew the soft spices near the affected tooth to
helpful, says American Dental Association
ease your pain until you can get to a dentist,
communications manager, Julia Nissim.
she adds.
Some conditions, however, leave no quesIf you have an ache in a tooth or in your
tion to the diagnosis. For example, Burke
gums, this could be a sign of infection that a
says, she once had a camper walk into a
dentist should address. In the meantime,
branch and knock out his front
eliminate the chances that you
tooth. In this situation, it was
could fix the problem on your
clear that the person needed
own by flossing around the
immediate professional
area in pain. Sometimes
dental care, but there are
food or other debris can
steps you can take in the
get lodged in between
If you bite your tongue, the injury will
meantime if youre
teeth and cause pain,
typically heal on its own as long as you keep
waiting to get to a denwhich flossing can remit clean with warm water rinses. However, if
tist after someone loses
edy, the American Denthe bite severs a portion of your tongue or if
a tooth.
tal Association advises.
you cant control the bleeding, go to an
If an adult dislodges
Additionally, you
emergency room right away while holdor knocks out a tooth, he
should avoid putting
ing a cold, clean cloth on the injury to
should ideally keep it in
aspirin directly on the
slow the bleeding.
his mouth, Burke says.
toothache area. Although
CARRIE BURKE
Holding it in the pocket
this old wives tale is said to
between the cheek and gum is a
reduce the pain, the reality is that
good spot where it can stay wet and
the aspirin can damage the delicate tiswont come in contact with bacteria. You can
sues around the tooth, the American Dental
also put it in a cup of milk, she advises.
Association cautioned.
And then get to a dentist as soon as possible, because the faster you get there, the
DONT STOP
better the chances it can be saved.
The last thing you want during an emergency is for mouth pain to keep you down. If
youre in a situation where you cant get to a
KEEP IT CLEAN
dentist, try the methods weve presented;
If you have a cut or bite on your lip, cheek
hopefully, theyll keep you going until you
or tongue, rinse out your mouth with warm
can get the care you need.
water to keep it clean and try to avoid touching the damaged spot because that will slow
Garrett Kim is a freelance writer living in North Carolina.
the healing process, Burke says.

TONGUE
CARE

PHOTO BY THINKSTOCK

SCISSORS CAN HELP


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ASG_1409_27 7/18/14 12:12 AM Page 27

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ASG_1409_COOK 7/17/14 3:02 AM Page 28

GENERAL

GRUB
GEAR
CHOOSE THE RIGHT COOKING SUPPLIES TO GET
YOU THROUGH AN EMERGENCY BY TORREY KIM

RECEPTACLES VERSUS HEAT

SEPTEMBER 2014

Because most survivalists can


make a fire, your first step in seeking
good cooking gear isnt a hot plate,
but what would go on it.

28

A cooking source is great to


have, but shouldnt be your first priority, says backwoods camp guide,
Erin Flaherty. If youre going to
invest in cooking gear, youll probably want a pot, first and foremost.
The reason for this is because a
pot can serve as more than a one-use
item. You can cook your meals over a
fire in it, but you can also utilize it
for many other purposes.
You can take it to a water source
and gather water to bring back to
your campsite, and purify the water
directly in it, Flaherty says. You
can also heat the water and use it for
washing dishes or clothes.
She recommends a sturdy pot
with a lid, and preferably one with a
handle, such as a Dutch oven, so you

IF YOURE GOING TO INVEST IN COOKING GEAR,


YOULL PROBABLY WANT A POT, FIRST AND FOREMOST.
BACKWOODS CAMP GUIDE, ERIN FLAHERTY

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

PHOTO BY THINKSTOCK

OU PROBABLY know that


cooking isnt your first priority if youre in a survival
situationbut you cant
ignore it, either.
After youve got water and shelter
taken care of, you might want to
quell the hunger that tends to hit
every four hours or so. Unless youre
adept at eating as you gather, you
could probably benefit from some
quality cooking gear. The following
tips can help ensure youre well fed
on your next outing.

ASG_1409_COOK 7/17/14 3:02 AM Page 29

can hang the pot over a fire if necessary. This allows you to cook over an
open fire that may not have a grate
on it. In addition, these types of pots
allow you to cook both stews and
bread because theyre good for baking and stove-style cooking.
If youre living the survival life on
a homestead and you dont travel a
lot, consider cast iron, which is sturdy
and well made. However, its rather
heavy, so if youll be transporting
your cooking set from one campsite
to the next, opt instead for titanium or
stainless steel, which are lighter.

PRESERVE AND PROTECT


Preserving your food is almost as
important as cooking it, because if
youre living as a survivalist, camper
or homesteader, you dont want to
waste a morsel of food. Whether
youve gathered strawberries or
caught a huge flounder, you need a
way to keep your food fresh if you
cant eat it all right away.
Canning and jarring materials are
great to have if youll be in an area
amenable to it. Typically, its difficult

COOLER TEMP

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

SEPTEMBER 2014

If youre preserving your recently caught


rabbit dinner in a cooler, dont take any
chances in letting it go bad before you
have a chance to eat it. The cooler should
stay at a temperature of 40-degrees F or
below. At higher temperatures than that,
bacteria can grow on the food and make it
non-edible, the FDA says.
In addition, dont keep open raw meat
or fish in the cooler with water bottles or
other items that youll be consuming. Any
raw meat or fish particles could end up
being ingested by someone in your group
and they could get sick.

29

ASG_1409_COOK 7/17/14 3:02 AM Page 30

GRUB
GEAR

CAMPING STOVES
If you arent adept at cooking over an open fire,
you can get a cooking stove for your next survival excursion without breaking the bank.
Most are relatively inexpensive, depending
more on your fuel preference. While some
camping stoves run on butane or propane, others can be powered by solar energy, or even
with small twigs. Evaluate your survival situation and determine which might be most useful
to you, since longer-term campers might not
have access to propane refills, whereas the sun
is more reliable.

SEPTEMBER 2014
30

[ABOVE] If youre cooking over an open fire, a Dutch oven is useful because it can cook a
wide range of foods.
[BELOW] If you do a lot of fishing, its a good idea to have a wire basket like this one to
cook your fish over an open fire.

PHOTOS BY THINKSTOCK

UNLESS YOURE ADEPT AT EATING


AS YOU GATHER, YOU COULD
PROBABLY BENEFIT FROM SOME
QUALITY COOKING GEAR.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

ASG_1409_COOK 7/17/14 3:02 AM Page 31

PHOTOS BY THINKSTOCK

FREEZE
THOSE
EGGS

Canning your food is an effective preservation method that will allow you to extend the life of your survival pantry.

Comfort Item
If youre roughing it in your survival kitchen (or if your kitchen is among the trees and grass), youll be more
comfortable if you have at least one piece of non-necessary gear. Of course, this isnt always practical, especially
if youre hiking deep into the forest, but in situations when youre able to bring an extra piece of gear, make it
something that gives you a taste of home.
For many people, this is a simple French press-type of lightweight coffee pot, Flaherty says, Because a lot
people dont want to wake up without a cup of coffee.

to jar in the wild, but on a homestead its


fairly simple. This will allow you to add fresh
foods to your survival pantry that can stay
fresh for months. In addition, you can preserve meat and fish with a variety of materials, including smoking, dehydrating or curing, all of which can be done in the wild.
Each of these methods involves its own set of
materials, so figure out which is your specialty before you invest in the proper gear. If
you need to preserve your food on a more
short-term basis and its not snowy outside,
you should at least have a cooler with ice
available so you can keep your food fresh for
a few days, Flaherty says.

Although most of your favorite old Western movies show people eating directly out of
the can or pot with their fingers, most survivalists would like a way to eat their meals
in a somewhat civilized manner. It lends an

GEAR UP
Although in an emergency situation cooking gear might not be the first thing you
think about, its a good idea to plan ahead so
you have some should the need arise. Not
only will it help you actually eat the food you
bring, produce or gather, it will give you
what will probably be a much appreciated
taste of home.

SEPTEMBER 2014

PHOTOS BY THINKSTOCK

LIVE TO SERVE

air of normalcy in what could be an otherwise completely chaotic situation.


You should have a few plates and bowls,
plus a set of utensils, Flaherty says. Many
people use double-duty utensils like sporks
to save space when camping.
On a homestead, you can use standard
gear, but if youre camping, you might want to
opt for plastic plates and utensils because
theyll be lighter in your pack. Dont forget a
spatula for turning your food over the fire and
a large serving spoon for stirring your meals.

When it comes to food


preservation, most of us
know we can freeze
meats, vegetables and
bread to ensure they
stay freshbut your
freezing options dont
stop there. If youre
freezing foods (either
outside in the snow or
cooler, or inside of your
homestead in the
freezer), keep in mind
that you can freeze
eggs. One of the best
protein values available,
eggs are versatile and
have a long shelf life of
three to five weeks in
your refrigerator. But if
your hen lays more than
you can use in that
period, you can consider
freezing the eggs. Just
take a few steps before
your eggs are ready for
their new winter.
To freeze whole
eggs, youll first crack
them into a bowl and
beat them until just
blended, according to
the American Egg
Boards Eggcyclopedia. Then pour them
into freezer containers,
seal tightly, and label
with the date. The eggs
will last for up to a year
in a home freezer, and
when youre ready to
use them, thaw them
overnight in the refrigerator and use them as
soon as theyre thawed.
To replace one whole
egg in a recipe, use
three tablespoons of
your thawed whole egg
mixture.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

31

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ASG_1409_SNYDER.CX.34,36,37 7/22/14 11:27 PM Page 34

GENERAL

SURVIVAL
CELEBRITY
DISCOVERY CHANNELS NAKED AND AFRAID STAR, E.J. SNYDER,
SHARES HIS TOP 10 TIPS FOR STAYING ALIVE
BY TORREY KIM + Photos Courtesy of the DISCOVERY CHANNEL

FTER 25 YEARS IN THE ARMYINCLUDING TWO TOURS AS A


COMBAT SOLDIER IN BOTH THE GULF WAR AND OPERATION
IRAQI FREEDOMYOUD THINK E.J. SKULLCRUSHER SNYDER
WOULD BE READY TO RELAX.
THE REALITY, HOWEVER, IS THAT HES JUST GETTING STARTED.

SNYDERS STORY
Following his retirement from the
Army, which included more than 50
medals and decorations, Snyder
wanted to continue using his survival
training to help others. He signed on
as a military technical advisor on
shows such as LOST and the History Channels Patton 360, and
took on work as a government contractor training soldiers how to survive behind enemy lines. But to continue to test his own resolve, Snyder
would have to be dropped in the
middle of nowhere with nothing
not even clothingand survive solely
on his training. Not only did Snyder
do this once in Africa, but he did it a
second time in the Amazon rainforest, both for Discoverys hit show
Naked & Afraid.

SEPTEMBER 2014

THE SCENARIO

34

Each week, the show features two


hard-core survivalists who arrive in
the wild with just a map and one
item of their choosing for 21 days.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

Once there, they have to find their


own shelter, water and food, while
staying clear of predators and bad
weather. Both times he appeared on
the show, Snyder went the distance.
The following 10 tips show you how
to survive in the wild, and prove why
Snyder has persevered where others
have failed.
1_Assess The Situation And Make A
Plan. If you find yourself in unfamiliar territory, your first step should
not be to start running, Snyder says.
First, make a count of everyones
physical condition to assess the situation, Snyder says. Check security
and physical conditions, then start
making a plan right from the get-go.
If its an emergency situation like a
plane crash or car wreck, the normal
rule is to stay until help finds you. If
you have to self-rescue, find something in the immediate location thats
useful to you. A car, for instance, can
provide a ton of equipment that can
be helpful to you.

2_Move Navigation Up The Priority


List. If you find yourself in a survival
situation where you have no equipment and you know the chances of
being rescued are slim, focus on finding your way out, Snyder advises.
A survival skill thats often overlooked (and which is one of my
strengths) is navigation, he says.
Know where you are at all times and
be able to find your direction without
a compass. Understand the seasons
and how the suns going to come
through the sky, study the stars and
elements, and keep a good bearing
on where you are so you dont get
lost once youre on your path.
3_Find Water. After you assess the
situation, make a plan and get your
bearings, youll want to find a good
water resource, Snyder says. After
that youll have fewer problems
because when youre hydrated, you
think better.
For me, being a soldier and
teaching soldiers, Im used to being
uncomfortable, Snyder says. Discomfort is natural to me whereas normal people would dislike it, but the
cues your body gives you when it is
uncomfortable can distract you from

ASG_1409_SNYDER 7/18/14 2:27 AM Page 35

ILL NEVER BE LET DOWN BECAUSE I


HAVE AN IRON WILL AND GOD ON MY
SIDE, SO IF I HAVE THOSE TWO THINGS
I CAN GET THROUGH ANYTHING.
SURVIVALIST, E.J. SNYDER

SEPTEMBER 2014

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

35

ASG_1409_SNYDER.CX.34,36,37 7/22/14 11:28 PM Page 36

SURVIVAL
CELEBRITY

survival, so get hydrated in order to


be more comfortable and aware.

SEPTEMBER 2014

4_Seek Shelter, Fire And Food. Once


youve got a great source of hydration, its time to locate a good shelter. This could be a cave, a self-built
structure, or a bed of leaves under a
tarp. You need something that
keeps you out of the elements, Snyder says. Once you have your shelter
set up, youll want to make a fire not
far from it.
Then you can start looking for
food. Although you may have thought
this would be higher on the list, it is
actually a much lower priority than
water, Snyder says. If you take in
more calories, you need more water
to digest, so you dont want to eat an
excessive amount, he advises.

36

5_Create Your Weapons. After you


complete the four steps above, you
can start thinking about surviving in
the longer-term, Snyder says. To
really make it in the wild, you need
to think outside of the box, he suggests. Youll need weapons and
tools, but when I look at an item, it
better have three uses for me
before I take it with me, he says.
A stick, for instance, has to be
able to be a fire prod, a slingshot,
and a spear, for instance. Being in
a survival situation is stressful, so if
you keep your mind occupied with
planning things like this, you wont
go into panic mode or isolation.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

SURPRISES
Surviving in the wild for three weeks is
a daunting thought for most of usso
making it for 21 days on Naked and
Afraid would be downright devastating. For E.J. Snyder, however, it was
almost like a day at the office. After his
training in the Army, he knew his
preparation and training had set him
up for success on the showbut there
were actually several things that were
tougher than he expected.
Being in the wild is as natural as
breathing for me, but primitive hunting can be so difficult and so much
harder than I realized, he says. Im
used to hunting with gear like slingshots and tomahawks and Im very
good with a rabbit stick. When I got
into Tanzania, I made a rabbit stick
and really wanted to make tomahawks
but it was hard to find good cordage,
everything was brittle. When I was in
the Amazon, I found it strange that
there were no rocks in the jungle so
itd be hard to make a tomahawk
head. So hunting by making my own
tools was tough.

6_Stay Calm. Because Snyder had a


military background, he was able to
make split-second decisions that may
have saved his life while on Naked
and Afraid. But even if you werent
in the Army, you can learn a few
lessons from Snyders experience.
When I was a senior ranking
enlisted soldier, I learned quickly that
you have to stay calm, cool and collected in every situationespecially
when handling problems, Snyder
says. Its very important that when
stuff comes at you, you have to be
calm, adaptable and flexible and
think quickly on the fly.
7_Be Willing To Change Your Game
Plan. You might read some great survival advice in a book before you
head out on an adventure, but that
doesnt mean you must follow the
book in every situation.
I live by the Army Survival Manual, but when you go out there if
you stay rigid to the book, youll have

ASG_1409_SNYDER.CX.34,36,37 7/22/14 11:28 PM Page 37

Think You
Could Go
Naked?
If youre a fan of Naked and
Afraid, you might be interested in joining the cast. Keep
in mind, however, that youll
need to bring your A game.
Its not for the faint of
heart, Snyder says. You really
need capabilities and skills and
I have them and it was still
tough. Ive been on the show

No Knife?
Not Prepared.
twiceonce in Tanzania and
once in the Amazon, and both
times I found you have to
come with everything youve
got because Mother Nature
will throw everything at you
and you have to be flexible.
The shows environment
tested everything that Snyder
studied for the past 30-plus
years. When I was on the
show, if I thought I had a handle on the mental game,
something physical would pop

a problem because you take away


adaptability and flexibility, Snyder
says. In the Amazon, everything I
knew about repelling mosquitos, like
spreading termite paste on my
body,or creating fires didnt work, so
we had to adapt to what the Amazon
was showing us and embrace that
magical place. If you only live by the
book, its hard to be adaptable.
8_Become The Wild. If you feel like
an outsider in the wild, youll react
like one, which can be detrimental to
your survival.
I found that in both Tanzania and
the Amazon that everything I had
been formally trained was put in
check by the wild, Snyder says. All
of the laws and rules to survival,
things I based my survival strategies
on to make it out, didnt always
work; the wild always gets a vote. I
had to resort to adapting, improvising, and overcoming to make it out
of the situation.
Theres a saying that says to
survive war, you have to become
war, Snyder says. The same
applies hereto survive the wild,
you must becomethat. I like seeing
how far I can push boundaries, bending or even breaking the rules. In

up. If I thought I had a handle


on the physical game, something emotional would pop up
as in dealing with my partner.
But despite all that, I was truly
in my element out there and
loved every second of it
because I feel thats what I was
meant to do.
To find out more about
Naked and Afraid, visit the
Discovery Channel website at
Discovery.com/tvshows/naked-and-afraid.

society, you must obey the law, but


in the wild, you become the law.
9_Keep That Iron Will. If you feel the
wild beating you down, you have to
fight against it or it will envelop you.
I went into the Amazon with a
mindset like a soldier, with my wisdom, experience and my mental
toughness, which for me is probably
my biggest strength, Snyder says.
An iron will ensures youll survive
because youll always look for water,
shelter, or whatever you may need.
My motto in survival and in life is
Tua Sponte Superstes, which means
in Latin survive by your own will.
Ill never be let down because I
have an iron will and God on my
side, so if I have those two things I
can get through anything. It might
not be the book way or the pretty
way but its the EJ Skullcrusher Snyder way and by God it has helped
me survive.
10_Dont Take Yourself Too Seriously.
Levity can help defuse a survival situation, Snyder says. Im the Clark Griswold of survival television, but what
you see on Naked and Afraid is the
real me and Im the same way on TV
as I am in real life.

Funxion EMT
Model 8100

This one, from Kershaw, offers an extra


measure of ready. It has a big, useful blade
that opens one-handed with SpeedSafe
assisted opening. It also has a selection
of emergency-ready features, like a cord
cutter and a built-in carbide glassbreaker.

What are YOU carrying?


WHERE TO FIND E.J.
Snyder not only trains soldiers how to survive behind enemy lines and
wows fans of reality television, he also conducts survival courses and
speaks to groups. To check out his latest activities, visit his website at
EJSnyder.com, or follow him on Twitter @EJSnyder333.

KERSHAWKNIVES.COM

ALCOHOL STOVES ARE SMALL AND WEIGH


PRACTICALLY NOTHINGTHEY HAVE NO
MOVING PARTS TO BREAK OR MALFUNCTION.

PHOTO COURTESY OF STEPHANIE BARLOW

ASG_1409_STOVES 7/23/14 7:19 AM Page 38

ASG_1409_STOVES 7/23/14 7:19 AM Page 39

GENERAL

STOVE
SEMINAR

BUILD A LIGHTWEIGHT, ECONOMICAL STOVE TO ADD TO YOUR SUPPLIES


TEXT AND PHOTOS BY STEVEN PAUL BARLOW

STOVE CAN NOT ONLY HEAT


YOUR FOOD OUT IN THE
WILD, IT CAN PROVIDE A
REAL SENSE OF HOME BY
PROVIDING YOU WITH A HOT
MEAL IN WHAT CAN BE A MIGHTY
UNCOMPROMISING SITUATION.
Whether you are preparing an emergency
kit or you simply like to travel light, a small
alcohol stove is a good thing to pack.
When youre hiking or hunting, these
stoves enable you to prepare a hot lunch
without taking the time to gather firewood. If
you have to spend a night in the woods unexpectedly, it provides a way to make tea or
soupwarm fluids that help prevent
hypothermia.
During a disaster or other emergency,
when electrical power and other utilities may
be out, a stove can enable you to prepare
meals and to boil and purify water. Follow
along to get the 411 on alcohol stoves.

Over the years, Ive used many types of


backpacking stoves with mixed results. Some
had delicate parts or used specialized fuel
canisters that were hard to find. Others were
simply too heavy or bulky.
Alcohol stoves are small and weigh practically nothing. They burn denatured or methyl
alcohol, which is readily available for a reasonable cost and can be safely transported in

Alcohol stove
lineup (from left)
includes the soda
can stove made by
coupling the bottoms of two soda
cans, two opentop stoves using
tuna and deviled
ham cans and two
canister stoves,
one with bolts as
pot supports.
SEPTEMBER 2014

PHOTO COURTESY OF STEPHANIE BARLOW

PROS AND CONS

any waterproof container. They have no moving parts to break or malfunction.


The low cost is possibly the best thing
about these stoves. You can make several
types yourself in a few minutes with materials
you scrounge from your households recycling bin.
Many of my stoves now have permanent
homes in my fanny packs, daypacks, the trunk
of my car, my bug-out bin and as a backup
for a larger stove in my full-sized backpack.
These stoves do have their limitations; for
one, its difficult to regulate their heat. You

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

39

ASG_1409_STOVES 7/23/14 7:19 AM Page 40

can get around that by moving your cook pot


closer or further from the flame, and you can
turn down your stove by placing it in a
larger container with fewer ventilation holes.
That will give your stove a longer burn time
at simmering temperatures.
I use my stoves primarily to boil water, so
regulating the temperature isnt much of an
issue. But they do take longer to boil water.
My homemade alcohol stoves will typically
boil a pint of water in a covered cook pot in
about seven minutes. The more-efficient,
pressurized backpacking stoves will accomplish that much more quickly.
Additionally, it is important to remember
that alcohol stoves can be difficult to light in
sub-zero temperatures.
[TOP TO BOTTOM]
Examples of devised
cook pot supports for
homemade alcohol stoves
include (from left): bolts
fastened to the top of a
12-ounce tuna can; a ventilated 12-ounce tuna can;
and 1-inch bolts fastened directly to the top
of a canister stove.
This alcohol stove, made
by drilling holes in a tin
canister available from
Specialty Bottle, has 1inch bolts fastened to the
top to support the cook
pot. This design is especially useful when cooking
with the metal cups that
fit around common Nalgene bottles.
Open-top alcohol stoves
are the easiest to make
and are the most trouble
free. You place the cook
pot directly on top, eliminating the need for a separate pot support. You
can use different-sized
cans to accommodate a
variety of cook pots.
This closed-top alcohol
stove can be made by
drilling holes in the top of
a tin canister purchased
especially for this purpose, but you can also use
other small metal canisters
with removable tops, such
as those used for airgun
pellets.

SEPTEMBER 2014

The soda can stove


design, made by coupling
the bottoms of two soda
or beer cans, has been
around for years. It is lightweight and efficient, but it
does take a little longer to
make and because you
cant remove the top, its
harder to retrieve unused
fuel from it.

40

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

OPEN-TOP
The simplest alcohol stove is the open-top
design. This is the stove I use most often
because you dont need a separate cook support; you can just place your pan directly on
top of the stove.
Start with a small food can. I like 7-ounce
tuna cans, which provide a good balance
between sufficient fuel capacity and small
size. They also have a sufficient diameter to
support most of the cook pots I use. Smaller
canstypically the size used to pack deviled
hamwork well with metal cups that fit Nalgene bottles.
Remove the top of the can with an opener
that does not leave a sharp edge. Use a
sturdy hole punch to make a row of holes
around the entire upper rim of the can.
After making so many of these stoves, I
finally invested in a tool specifically designed
to punch holes in metal. It was worth the
small investment. For 7-ounce cans I usually
punch 932-inch holes. For the smaller cans, I
punch 316-inch holes.
Now make a second row of holes under
these, offset from the top row of holes.

COMMERCIALLY
AVAILABLE STOVES
Youre not the handy, DIY type? Dont worry. There are
commercially made alcohol stoves you can buy. Some
offer accessories, such as pot supports, windscreens
and cook pots. Some feature a mechanism to regulate
the heat. Check out the manufacturers below.
Trangia: Trangia.se/English
Esbit: Esbit.de/en
Vargo: VargoOutdoors.com

ASG_1409_STOVES 7/23/14 7:19 AM Page 41

POT SUPPORT
Closed-top stoves requirea device to support your cook
pot. You can rest your cook pot on rocks or logs placed
about 3 inches apart with your stove on the ground
between them. That system also provides some shielding
from the wind.
You can fasten four12-inch bolts to the lid of the stove
sothe ends of the bolts support your cook pot. This is a
good method if youre cooking with a small diameter
metal cup. Larger pots may tip over with this setup.
Another wayis to punch several rows of holes arounda
large, 12-ouncetuna can and place the stove canister
inside. Your cook pot will rest atop the larger tuna can. You
may have to experiment with the number of holes to
punchfewer holes means slower cooking.
Also, you can make a pot support by taking the top of
a 12-ounce tuna can and attaching four bolts to it. Put
your canister stove on the can top and rest your pot on
the bolts.

Thats all there is to it. Your stove is complete. Fill it with denatured alcohol to the
bottom row of holes. I usually light my stoves
with a ferrocerium rod, which easily provides
enough sparks to ignite the alcohol.
Wait about 20 seconds until you see some
agitation in the surface of the alcohol before
you place your cook pot on top, otherwise
the flame might go out. Once your cook pot
seals off the top of the can, the flames will jet
out of the holes like a conventional gas
burner. Be very cautious, however, because
the flames from burning alcohol can be nearly
invisible, especially in bright sunlight.
You might have to improvise a windscreen
for breezy conditions. Expect a burn time of
about 12 minutes. Ive found that I can usually heat water for ramen noodles or instant
soup and still have enough burn time left on
a single filling to make tea or cocoa.

CLOSED-TOP

STRETCH
YOUR
FUEL
I use a 4-ounce plastic
squeeze bottleto carry
my fuel when Im out for
a day hike. Four ounces
willfill my stove twice,
giving me one filling to
heat something for lunch
and onefillingto spare.
Awide-mouthedplastic
soda bottle makes an
excellent fuel container
for extended outings.
I stretch my fuel supply by extinguishing my
stove as soon as Ive
heated my water. Placing
a cook pot or aluminum
can upside down over the
stovequickly smothers
the flame. When the
stove is cool,I dump any
leftover fuel into a plastic
sandwich bag. Ive cut the
bottom corner out of the
bag, which makes it easy
to funnel the fuel from
the bag back into my fuel
container. I then use the
bag to store my stove and
fuel bottle.

little more fuel on the top.


Light the fuel on the top and this
will prime your stove to get it started.

SODA CAN
You can make another type of closed-top
stove by joining together the bottoms of two
soda or beer cans and then drilling small
holes in the top of the stove for the burner
jets. These stoves work well, but they take a
little longer to construct.
First, measure 1 to 1 inches up from
the bottoms of two soda cans and cut them
evenly around. Keep the bottoms and discard
the rest. Next, use one of the bottoms to
make three evenly spaced, vertical, -inch
cuts (starting from the top down). These cuts
will enable you to slightly bend the top edges
so that you can easily join the two bottoms
together to form a little canister.
Once youve joined the two bottoms
together, crimp any sharp edges. Drill a row
of 116-inch holes around what is now the top
of your stove. Also drill a set of five holes in
the concave center, which youll use to fill
your stove with fuel.
Fill your stove with fuel and light it.
Because you cant easily remove the top, its
more difficult to retrieve any unused fuel if
you extinguish your stove before its empty.

EXPERIMENT
Now that youve seen the way Ive done
it, try it yourself. If you find a better design,
let the ASG crew know.
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, and his books are
available from BriarHillBooks.com

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

SEPTEMBER 2014

This type of stove tends to be slightly more


efficient and will spill less fuel if you do tip it
over. The drawback with this type of stove is
that it requires you to improvise something to
support your cook pot.
Specialty Bottle is a supplier of
small metal canisters perfect for constructing
alcohol stoves. The company also sells small
plastic bottles that make excellent alcohol
fuel containers. Or, you can use any small
metal container with a removable top, like
an airgun pellet canister.
Drill a row of small holes around the lid
of your container using a 116- or 564-inch bit. Fill
the canister with fuel, close the lid and pour a

[ABOVE] Alcohol stoves are fueled by denatured alcohol


(right), typically sold as paint thinner in hardware
stores or methyl alcohol, which is the main ingredient
in Heet brand automotive gas line additive. The fuel
can be safely stored in any plastic container. [RIGHT] If
you dont have any other type of pot support, you
can use rocks or logs with the alcohol stove. By
increasing or decreasing the cook pots distance from
the burner, you can regulate the heat to some extent.

41

ASG_1409_BG_RODS 7/17/14 3:29 AM Page 42

FISH
TALES
A GOOD FISHING ROD CAN
MEAN THE DIFFERENCE
BETWEEN EATINGOR NOT
YOURE OUT IN THE WILD. Youre out
of food. Youre hungry. What now?
Go fishing.
Rod and reel skills are essential for
anyone who will be travelling in the
outdoors. If you ever find yourself
stranded in the wilderness, youll be
glad to have this vital knowledge.
However, when it comes to fishing,
skill is only one side of the equation.
Your fishing rod matters just as much,
if not more.
There are many different types of
rods to choose from depending on
your location and the type of fish you
hope to catch.
Peruse our fishing rod choices and
then go get one of your own. Youll
never regret adding this to your list of
survival skills.

SEPTEMBER 2014

FISHING RODS
42

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

PHOTO BY THINKSTOCK

Buyers Guide

ASG_1409_BG_RODS 7/17/14 3:29 AM Page 43

FISHING RODS Buyers


Guide

THIS ROD GIMBAL


MAKES BELTS AND TIES
A THING OF THE PAST.
EDGE WORLD

1 $45

SHIMANO

2 $11.04-$25.56

ST. CROIX

3 $130

1 EDGE WORLD

2 SHIMANO

WEBSITE: IISports.com
PRICE: $45

WEBSITE: Shimano.com
PRICE: $11.04-$25.56

PRODUCT: Trout Series TSS70LXF2


Spinning Rod
WEBSITE: StCroixRods.com
PRICE: $130

Specifications:

Specifications:

Specifications:

Ultra compact, lightweight design


eliminates the need for belts or ties
Fits all rod butts 1.1-inch-diameter or
less
Weighs less than 12 pound
Strong aircraft aluminum body

Features medium-power fast action


Two piece
Features durable aeroglass blank construction
Complete with reinforced aluminum
oxide guides

Line: 4-8 pounds


Lure: 116-14 ounces
Two piece

Defining Features: This rod gimbal

Defining Features: Dont let the bargain

makes belts and ties a thing of the past.


Its ideal for those times when you need
a bit of extra leverage to land a large
fish. The rod helps cut back on fatigue by
transferring the weight of the rod from
your arms and wrists to your hip or
waist. It fits fishing rods of all shapes
and sizesfrom rod butts 1.1-inch diameter or less. Weighing less than half a
pound, its quite compact, perfect for
storing in your tackle box.

basement price fool you; although this


rod may be under $30, its made by Shimano, a name you can trust. These rods
are widely available at fishing and hardware stores throughout the country, so
you can try them out in person. This
sturdy rod is rustproof and durable,
which makes it just about perfect given
the low entry price.

PRODUCT: Compact Fishing Rod

PHOTO BY THINKSTOCK

Gimbal

PRODUCT: FXC 2 Piece Casting

Rod

3 ST. CROIX

Defining Features: St. Croixs all-new

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

SEPTEMBER 2014

Trout Series spinning rods feature crisp,


controlled actions and plenty of backbone to handle larger fish. Built on
blanks rolled from a blend of premiumquality SCII graphite and high-strain
SCVI graphite, the new rods are lightweight, strong and sensitive. Created
specifically for trout anglers who fish
streams and lakes with spinners and
other lures, all thread wraps are protected by two coats of Flex Coat slowcure finish for exceptional durability.

43

ASG_1409_BG_RODS 7/17/14 3:29 AM Page 44

Buyers FISHING RODS


Guide

4 BERKLEY

PRODUCT: Abu Garcia VNGC662-5

Vengeance Casting Rod


WEBSITE: Berkley-Fishing.com
PRICE: $49.99

6 FENWICK

PRODUCT: HMX Spinning Rod

S53L-M

WEBSITE: FenwickFishing.com
PRICE: $79.95

Specifications:

Specifications:

High-density EVA handles are more


durable and comfortable
Features soft-touch sea guide reel
seats for increased comfort and zirconium-coated guides that are perfect
for braided line usage
Line rating is 8 to17 pounds and
medium power rating
Measures 78 inches
Two piece

Cross-scrim graphite construction utilizing overlapping layers of carbon


fiber to achieve exceptional strength
and action
Perfect for braided line applications
Durable, strong and lightweight
guides with stainless steel frames and
titanium oxide inserts

Defining Features: The Vengeance is a

hybrid fishing rod that perfectly blends


function and design. Ergonomically
appealing and performance enhancing,
this two-piece casting rod features 24-ton
graphite with the latest in fishing technology. The rod handles great, especially
for larger bass in heavy weeds. Measuring 78 inches in length, its soft-touch sea
guide reel seats add to the rods comfort.
For a fishing rod at less than $50, this rod
is an absolute bargain.

BERKLEY

4 $49.99

Defining Features: The Fenwick HMX


Rod combines superb features and a
low price. This rod can take the wear
and tear of fishing; cross-scrim graphite
construction and overlapping layers of
carbon fiber provide both strength and
action. Not only is powerful, its lightweight, too. It has a stainless steel
frame and cork material handle to
deliver top-notch performance every
time you head out to the lake.

FENWICK

$79.95 6

5 DAIWA

PRODUCT: FSF1202HRB Beefstick


Surf Cast Rod
WEBSITE: Daiwa.com
PRICE: $42.94
Specifications:

12 feet
Line weight: 20 to 40 pounds
Lure weight: 1 to 10 ounces
Power: Heavy
Stainless-hooded composite reel seat
Defining Features: If youre looking for a

SEPTEMBER 2014

heavy-duty cast rod that can take all the


punishment you can dish out, Beefstick
is the rod for you. It doesnt matter if
youre using braid or mono, youll have
sheer power and durability at your fingertips. This rod isnt made of graphite,
so it weighs a little more, but youll
barely notice the difference. Each rod is
solidly built with a two-piece Fiberglas
blank to last for the years to come.

44

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

THIS ROD CAN TAKE THE WEAR


AND TEAR OF FISHING; CROSSSCRIM GRAPHITE CONSTRUCTION
AND OVERLAPPING LAYERS OF
CARBON FIBER PROVIDE BOTH
STRENGTH AND ACTION.

DAIWA

5 $42.94

ASG_1409_BG_RODS 7/17/14 3:29 AM Page 45

FISHING RODS Buyers


Guide

7 LAMIGLAS

PRODUCT: LX 910 X-11 Fy Fishing

Rod

WEBSITE: Lamiglas.com
PRICE: $160

8 FENWICK

PRODUCT: Eagle GT Spinning Rod


WEBSITE: FenwickFishing.com
PRICE: $59.95
Specifications:

Specifications:

Lamiglas X-11 Fly LX 910


Two-piece, 9-foot, 10-weight graphite
fly rod
Cork handle with anodized aluminum
reel seat and snake guides
Fast-action graphite blank
Rich, glossy, merlot finish

FENWICK

8 $59.95

Defining Features: High performance

doesnt always have to come with a


steep price. This is a fantastic rod at a
reasonable price. This high-performance
rod features the fast action youd expect
from Lamiglas. The rod is fabricated
from long-lasting IM graphite and it features above- average casting and
catches. This one even comes with a
nice contrast of reel seat and premium
cork handles.

5-feet 9-inch, one-piece M action spinning rod


Hard-chromium-plated ss304 guide
system
Multi-laminate layup
Classic Fenwick actions
Defining Features: This rod lives up the

Fenwick nameand then some. It offers


good action and a superb grip. Its very
sensitive and able to catch the smallest
of bass, and the copper grip will make
you think youre using a fishing rod at
double the price point. The rod is lightweightperfect for light reel upwards of
6 ounces, and you can store it in your
backpack for long treks into the woods.

9 DAIWA

PRODUCT: Laguna Trigger Rod


LAG661MhFB
WEBSITE: Daiwa.com
PRICE: $43.94
Specifications:

HIGH PERFORMANCE
DOESNT ALWAYS
HAVE TO COME WITH A
STEEP PRICE.

DAIWA

9 $43.94

Combines hand-fitting comfort and


performance into a sturdy, yet flexible, rod
Lightweight frame allows easy
maneuverability and line maintenance
IM-6 graphite with woven carbon construction
Stainless steel hooded reel seat
Lightweight, split foam grip
Defining Features: For a price of less

than $50, Daiwa Laguna Trigger Rods


are a real bargain. Not only do they look
and feel great, they perform. Whether
youre a beginner or veteran, these rods
are great for all skill levels. Theyre also
made to last: theyre fabricated from
durable, lightweight graphite and feature woven carbon construction.

LAMIGLAS

SEPTEMBER 2014

7 $160

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

45

ASG_1409_BG_RODS 7/17/14 3:29 AM Page 46

Buyers FISHING RODS


Guide
ST. CROIX

11 $170

BERKLEY

10 $39.99

THIS HIGHER-END
ROD FEATURES THE
MOST POPULAR
ACTIONS AND THE
HOTTEST TECHNIQUES
USED BY FISHERMAN
TODAY.

SHIMANO

12 $59.99

BERKLEY

ST. CROIX

SHIMANO

PRODUCT: TDS461UL Trout

PRODUCT: Wild River Salmon

PRODUCT: Sellus one-Piece

Dough Series Ultra Light Power Spinning Fishing Rod


WEBSITE: Berkley-Fishing.com
PRICE: $39.99

& Steelhead Spinning Rods


WRS86MHF2
WEBSITE: StCroixRods.com
PRICE: $170

Specifications:

Specifications:

Spinning fishing rod is specifically


engineered for accurate, long-distance casting of Berkley dough baits
Uni-directional Fiberglas blanks
deliver the strength, sensitivity, light
weight and bait-protecting finesse
All rods in the series feature weightreducing split cork handles and five
stainless steel guides and inserts
Rod measures 412-feet long

Premium-quality SCII graphite


Outstanding strength, sensitivity
and hook-setting power
Finely tuned actions and tapers for
superior performance
Hard aluminum-oxide guides with
black frames

Flipping Cast Rod


WEBSITE: Shimano.com
PRICE: $59.99
Specifications:

SEPTEMBER 2014

Defining Features: When youre han-

46

dling the Trout Doug series rod, youll


forget youre handling anything at all.
This lightweight power spinning fishing rod comes with a weight-reducing
cork handle, perfect for reeling in the
catch of the day. This rod was specifically made for long-distance casting
using Berkley dough baits.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

Defining Features: St. Croix has added

three highly specialized, extra-heavy


power, moderate-action salmon rods to
its best-selling Wild River series.
Designed to provide the strength
required when trolling in-line flashers
and divers or around jetties, or in any
other situation where you need 12 to
16 ounces of lead or a diver to get
down in heavy current. The new Wild
River rods are the fishing rod of choice
for tidewater bobber fishing. Designed
and handcrafted in Park Falls, WI, they
even come with a five-year warranty.

Power: medium heavy


One piece
Length: 7 feet, 6 inches
Action: extra fast
Rear grip length: 10.5-inch split grip
Defining Features: The Shimano Sel-

lus series was created with the Bass


fisherman in mind. This higher-end
rod features the most popular actions
and the hottest techniques used by
fisherman today. This series offers a
variety of rods: Crankbait, Spinnerbait,
Top Water, Worm, Jig and a Flipping
stick. This rod is lightweight and reel
seats ensure its perfectly balanced in
your hand. Did we mention the rod
also features low-profile aluminum
oxide guides and a multipurpose hook
keeper?

ASG_1409_47 7/18/14 12:18 AM Page 47

COVER STORY

ASG_1409_COVERSTORY 7/17/14 3:33 AM Page 48

B
N
A
L
P

Plan B EMP-Proof
1986 Expandable
6x6 Command Center

48

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

ASG_1409_COVERSTORY 7/17/14 3:33 AM Page 49

MODEL: BRYAN MARSHALL GEAR COURTESY OF 5.11 TACTICAL

WE WANT TO BUILD A NATIONWIDE


INFRASTRUCTURE WHERE IF SOMETHING
HAPPENS, WE CAN SAY THESE ARE THE
TRUCKS THAT CAN GO IN AND HELP OUT .

THIS POWERHOUSE OF A VEHICLE


FROM PLAN B SUPPLY MAKES THE
PERFECT BUG-OUT BACKUP
BY TORREY KIM + Photos by Gus Alonzo

AKE A PASSION FOR SURVIVAL, A


DEPENDABLE MILITARY VEHICLE, AND
A LOT OF MAN-HOURS PERFORMING
CUSTOMIZATION, AND WHAT DO YOU GET?
A fleet of survival vehicles that can tear across
the country with your entire stack of bug-out supplies safely on board. If youre ready for the ultimate survival vehicle, Plan B Supply can deliver.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

49

ASG_1409_COVERSTORY 7/17/14 3:33 AM Page 50

PL AN B
THE BACK STORY

PERUSE YOUR OPTIONS

Plan B Supply was conceived by survivalist Dan Coleman, who owns one of
these vehicles, naturally. The companys
customized trucks are built upon the
base of a retired military vehicle, and
then crafted to your specifications at its
warehouse. After you accept delivery of
your vehicle, the rest is up to you.
About seven years ago I wanted a
survival vehicle that could cover a lot of
scenarios and the military trucks were the
ones that fit the category best for fulfilling my needs, Coleman says.
The company also converts other government-retired vehicles, including fire
trucks, into survival wheels.

If youre shopping for a survival vehicle, your first step should be to check out
the offerings on the Plan B website,
which showcases the many styles of truck
that are available.
The most cost-effective avenue for a
survivalists money is the military truck
conversion, Coleman says. We have
contracts with the government to purchase a certain amount of trucks each
year and we like the expandable box
trucks best.
Although most other off-road motorhomes are in the half-million dollar range,
Plan B can put you into a survival truck
for as low as $15,000, Coleman says.
For most survivalists, we sell really
dependable trucks in the $14,500 to
$26,000 range, he says. Our main customer base is a family that wants a good,
stout bug-out vehicle.

HOW PLAN B GETS


QUALITY TRUCKS
When Plan B is on the market for a survival
truck, the company goes straight to the
source: retired government vehicles, which
go to auction.
We go through and have specific criteria that I look for in a truck, Coleman says.
I work really hard to get into a high position to bid near the beginning of the lot so I
can get the cream of the crop. Because Im
in that position, I can get a really clean truck
for a good price and then dont have to put a
ton of work into them. For example, the last
truck I just sold for $16,000 had recently
gotten $86,000 worth of work put into it by
the government.

50

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

YES, YOUVE GOT POWER


Inside of the survival vehicle, you can
request anything from a simple cooking
stove and dorm refrigerator to create
your meals on the go to a fully functional
kitchen with a stove and refrigerator

SURVIVAL
COMMUNITY
After customers buy trucks
from Plan B, they can
become part of the companys wide-spanning network of resources.
Weve created a bit of a
survival community of people who have bought our
trucks and theyve agreed to
a system of response and
rescue with one another during a survival situation
where we can help each
other and bring in supplies,
Coleman says.
We want to build a
nationwide infrastructure
where if something happens
we can say these are the
trucks that can go in and
help out right near there.
People tell us their skills and
capabilities and we put it on
the list.

THE MOST COST-EFFECTIVE AVENUE FOR A SURVIVALISTS


MONEY IS THE MILITARY TRUCK CONVERSION.

ASG_1409_COVERSTORY.CX.51 7/22/14 11:30 PM Page 51

PLAN B

EMP-PROOF
1986
EXPANDABLE
6X6 COMMAND
CENTER

What
To Wear
Our model is
outfitted in
5.11 Tactical
Series gear.
Freedom
Flex shirt
$64.99
Flex-Tac
Stryke pant
$70.99
Apex T-Rail belt
$64.99
For more, visit:
511Tactical.com

already hooked up to solar panels and batteries.


On the box trucks we usually
put solar-, electrical- and dieselpowered equipment like heaters
in the vehicle, as well as diesel
cooking stoves, Coleman says.
We just put two 80-gallon
diesel tanks on one truck that
can take it almost 1,000 miles
without having to fuel up.
However, Coleman stresses,
he doesnt advise survivalists to
waste diesel on making a can of
soup.
My main focus is helping
people understand how to use
precious commodities that could
be on low supply, he says. You

The Best Kind Of People


Thank you to the crew at Plan B Supply who drove two of their trucks
from Oregon to California for our ASG cover shoot.
Pictured from left to right:
Top left: Tom Broome, Plan B co-owner
Top right: Dan Coleman, Plan B owner
Middle: Bryan Marshall, president, WishesForWarriorsCorp.org
Bottom left: Andrew Robb, Plan B mechanic and fabricator
Bottom right: Wade Wagner, Plan B PR and Las Vegas supervisor

To learn more about Plan B Supply, visit the companys website


at PlanBSupply.com.

CHECK IT OUT
If youre in the market for a
bug-out vehicle you cant do
much better than a Plan B Supply
model. Its tough, its affordable
and it provides everything you
need to get outta Dodge.

Price $38,700
*Stock price without mods: $28,800

WITH THANKS
Thank you to Raahauges
Shooting Enterprises for
the generous use of its
property for our cover
shoot. To learn more
about Raahauges,
please visit:
Raahauges.com

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

SEPTEMBER 2014

FOR MORE INFORMATION

want to save your diesel fuel for


the truck to get from place to
place, not as a generator so you
can make toast. Instead, you
want to use solar for those
things. You can use your generator to turn the microwave on and
cook a meal in two minutes to
save energy.

SPECS
Cummins diesel engine
Four 50-inch rough terrain tires
Allison automatic
transmission
Rockwell high/low
range transfer case
Rockwell 5t on planetary axles
Water fording depth of
5 feet, 7 inches
Rear box that expands
from 17 x 8 to 17 x 14
Full electrical panel
with breakers
Roof hatch with folddown ladder
Rear-mounted generator
Diesel-fired space
heater
Rear box AC unit
Blackout windows
Pop-up roof tent, sleeps
six with roof hatch
access
Folding rear lift gate for
loading heavy equipment
Rear 2-inch receiver
hitch for towing a trailer
On-board air tanks for
running air tools
Roof-mounted solar
panels
2,500-watt DC inverter
On-board communications, HAM radio
Top speed: 72 mph
8.6 mpg at 65 mph
10.2 mpg at 50 mph

51

ASG_1409_BG_FOOD 7/17/14 3:47 AM Page 52

Buyers Guide

SEPTEMBER 2014

MAKE
MINE
TO-GO

52

PORTABLE FOOD AND


WATER PRODUCTS THAT
EVERY PREPPER NEEDS

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

WITHOUT FOOD AND WATER, you will not survive.


Its just that simple.
If the last year of extreme weather has taught us
anything, its the importance of being prepared for an
emergency. Food and water are essential basics, so
make sure you at least prepare in this arena.
Emergency food and water supplies have come a
long way in the last few years, and its now possible to
get quality, good-tasting meals, and kits to make water
safe and drinkable.
Peruse the following items and decide what fits your
food and water survival needs.

PHOTO BY THINKSTOCK

FOOD&WATER

ASG_1409_53 7/18/14 12:20 AM Page 53

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
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Handles Smooth No Texture
Overall length 7 5/8, Blade Length 3, Blade Width
1, Blade Thickness 1/8. Bolster holes 1/8, Handle
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CAT.#
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J3638
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STEEL
FINISH
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CPMS30V Satin
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1095
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HRC
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24.95
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74.95

CAT.#

COLOR

MATERIAL

PRICE

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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.


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6.95

ASG_1409_BG_FOOD.CX.54,55 7/22/14 11:32 PM Page 54

Buyers FOOD&WATER
Guide

1 LIFESTRAW

PRODUCT: Personal Water Filter


WEBSITE: BuyLifeStraw.com
PRICE: $19.95

PRODUCTS
2 SAWYER

3 CAMELBAK

PRODUCT: Groove Insulated

PRODUCT: Mini Water Filtration System


WEBSITE: Sawyer.com
PRICE: $19.93

Bottles

WEBSITE: Camelbak.com
PRICE: $30

Specifications:

Removes minimum 99.9999% of


waterborne bacteria (>LOG 6 reduction) and surpasses EPA standards for
water filters
Removes minimum 99.9% of waterborne protozoan parasites (>LOG 3
reduction) and filters to an amazing
0.2 microns
Filters up to 1,000 liters of contaminated water without using iodine,
chlorine or other chemicals
Comes in a sealed bag, perfect for
storing for emergencies

Specifications:

Specifications:

Ideal for outdoor recreation, hiking,


camping, scouting, domestic and
international travel and emergency
preparedness
High-performance filter fits in the
palm of your hand, weighs 2 ounces
and filters up to 100,000 gallons (30
times more than comparable filters)
Attaches to included drinking pouch,
standard disposable water bottles,
hydration packs, or use the straw to
drink directly from your water source

Turns tap water into fresh, great-tasting water anywhere you go


Easy-to-refill and easy-to-use bottle
with a filter built into the straw
Certified by NSF International to
reduce chlorine, taste and odor
Sustainable, plant-based filter lasts
about three months or 48 gallons of
water
Lifetime guarantee

Defining Features: LifeStraw is an

Defining Features: Are you looking for

award-winning product used by humanitarians in third world countries that lack


the luxury of safe drinking water. Not
only is this water filter inexpensive, its
compact, perfect for storing in your
backpack or your cars glove compartment. Filtering water couldnt be any
easierin less than 30 seconds, youll
have clean drinking water. All you need
is a puddle of water and youll be drinking in no time. While a lot of water filters come with an after-taste, this one
does not; it provides great-tasting water
every time.

a lightweight and versatile water filtration system? Look no further than the
Mini Water Filter from Sawyer Products.
Dont let its size fool you; it provides the
highest level of filtrationup to 10 million parts of bacteria. Its not just reliable, its long-lasting; filters up to
100,000 gallons of water, 30 times
more than similar water filters. The size
makes it perfect for camping trips.

Defining Features: Camelbak is so

much more than an ordinary water


bottle. It provides the useful ability to
transform ordinary tap water into
filtered water in mere seconds. The
leak-proof lid keeps you dry and your
water ice cold for hours. Theres no need
to bother with a cumbersome filtration
system; this water bottle serves as a
two-in-one water filter and bottle. The
water is chlorine free, so you can enjoy
great-tasting water each time.

SAWYER PRODUCTS

2 $19.93

SEPTEMBER 2014

LIFESTRAW

54

1 $19.95
CAMELBAK

3 $30
AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

ASG_1409_BG_FOOD.CX.54,55 7/22/14 11:32 PM Page 55

FOOD&WATER Buyers
Guide

4 LIFESTRAW

5 MSR

WEBSITE: BuyLifeStraw.com
PRICE: $89.95

Microfilter
WEBSITE: Amazon.com
PRICE: $89.95

6 KATADYN

Specifications:

Specifications:

Specifications:

Purifies 18,000 liters/4755 gallons


without iodine, chlorine, or other
chemicals.
Provides clean drinking water for a
family of four for three years
Gravity filterpour water in the top
and clean water comes out the bottom
Flow rate of 2.38 to 3.17 gallons per
hour

Lightweight and effective water filter


designed for expedition use in
demanding environments
Durable carbon and ceramic element
ensures safe, taste-free watereven
with frequent, heavy use
Fast flow of up to 1 liter per minute
with the AirSpring Accumulator
Field cleanable and maintainable
without tools
Effective against protozoa, bacteria,
chemicals/toxins and particulates

Only EPA-registered purification


tablets effective against viruses,
bacteria and cysts
The same chlorine dioxide treatment
used to disinfect municipal water
supplies
One MicroPur tablet treats 1 full quart
of water
Available in packs of 20 or 30 tablets

PRODUCT: Family 1.0 Water

PRODUCT: Miniworks EX

Purifier

Defining Features: Are you looking for

something a bit more advanced to filter


your water? From the makers of
LifeStraw, comes the Family 1.0 Water
Purifier. This powerful filtration system
can filter out viruses from 4,750 gallons
of water, enough water to last a family
of five up to three years. Its easy to use
for the whole familysimply pour water
in the top and purified, ready to drink
water comes out the bottom. Your water
is conveniently poured into a sealed
bag, so you can save it for later.

Defining Features: Why deal with

unpleasant tastes and chemical contaminants when you dont have to? Filter
fresh-tasting water without any tools.
The MSR Miniworks EX Microfilter is a
fast-flowing water filter, proving up to
one liter per minute of filtered water.
Filter up to 528 gallons of water, free
from harmful bacteria, including protozoa and particulates. This water filter is
lightweight and compact; no bug-out
bag would be complete without it.

PRODUCT: Micropur MP1


Purification Tablets
WEBSITE: Katadyn.com
PRICE: $8.95-$22.06

Defining Features: Are you looking for

something a bit more compact than a


filtration system? Katadyn Micropur
MP1 Purification Tablets may be what
youre looking for. These water tablets
come in a small package of 20 or 30
tablets, but it treats up to one full quart
of water. Theyre perfect for backpacking
trips in the wilderness or for storing in
your car. Hands down, these tablets provide the best tasting filtered water.
Although it takes four hours to treat the
water, you can be at ease knowing your
drinking water is safe.

MSR

5 $89.95

KATADYN

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

SEPTEMBER 2014

LIFESTRAW

4 $89.95

6 $8.95-$22.06

55

ASG_1409_BG_FOOD 7/17/14 3:47 AM Page 56

Buyers FOOD&WATER
Guide

7 MOUNTAIN HOUSE 8 WISE FOOD


Dried Food Assortments
WEBSITE: MountainHouse.com
PRICE: $79.99

Go Food Kit
WEBSITE: WiseFoodStorage.com
PRICE: $80.99-$276.19

9 FOOD HEALTH

Specifications:

Specifications:

Specifications:

Assortment contains 12 pouches per


bucket (32 servings)
Flavors: Four rice and chicken, four
chili mac, and four spaghetti
Just mix contents with boiling water
in the pouch provided, let stand for a
few minutes, and then serve;
re-sealable foil pouch helps retain
warmth
Made in the United States
Shelf life: 10 years from the manufacturing date listed on the back of each
pouch

60 servings
Just add water
Good for 25 years

275 servings
Weatherproof bucket
Shelf life: 20 years

Defining Features: Dont balk at its

Defining Features: If youre looking for

heftier price tag; this emergency food is


worth every penny. Although it isnt the
best-tasting food youll ever eat, its
long lasting and will provide you with
the energy you need in an emergency.
The high-quality packaging can preserve your food for 25 years. The buckets are also ideal for storage when the
food is all gone. If youre unsure about
the product, you can even request a few
free samples from Wise Foods website.

enough food to last you for the months


to come, Food Healths emergency food
supply is your product of choice. It provides 275 meal packs (200 servings)
with a 20-year shelf life. This food gives
an-all new meaning to great taste, and
its nutritious and easy to prepare. The
weatherproof bucket ensures your food
will stay protected from the elements
during a storm. Enjoy hearty meals for
breakfast, lunch and supper.

PRODUCT: Just in Case Freeze

Defining Features: The Mountain

House is known for its great-tasting


emergency food and this kit doesnt disappoint. If youre tired of the same old
boring freeze-dried foods, you should
definitely give this product a chance.
This bucket includes 12 pouches, which
is enough for 32 meals. One bucket is
plenty to last a week in the outdoors.
Simply add boiling water and youll
have tasty meals every time.

PRODUCT: Entre Only Grab and

PRODUCT: Emergency Survival


Food Supply 275 Meal Pack
WEBSITE: www.Amazon.com
PRICE: $299

ONE BUCKET IS PLENTY TO LAST


A WEEK IN THE OUTDOORS.

FOOD HEALTH

9 $299

MOUNTAIN HOUSE

SEPTEMBER 2014

7 $79.99

56

WISE FOOD

8 $80.99-$279.19
AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

ASG_1409_BG_FOOD 7/17/14 3:47 AM Page 57

FOOD&WATER Buyers
Guide

MEAL KIT
SUPPLY

AUGASON FARMS
PRODUCT: EMERGENCY FOOD

PRODUCT: MRE (Meals, Ready to Eat),

Pack of 6
WEBSITE: MealKitSupply.com
PRICE: $44.95

SUPPLY, VARIETY
WEBSITE: AugasonFarms.com
PRICE: $22.47

MEALSPEC
PRODUCT: MRE Heater
WEBSITE: MealSpec.com
PRICE: $1.99
Specifications:

Specifications:
Specifications:

Shelf stable, waterproof, impact resistant, and hermetically sealed against


pests
All food consists of U.S. military MRE
ration components; 600 or more calories per meal
Preppers Gold Standard for emergency food preparedness for earthquake, flood, fire and hurricane
Meals made fresh by U.S. Department
of Defense contractors with flameless
ration heaters
Defining Features: MRE is a fancy

acronym for Meals, Ready to Eat. Originally designed for use by the U.S. military, it provides the potential for hot and
nutritious meals anyplace, anytime. This
package is lightweight with only the
essentials, perfect for carrying in your
bug-out bag. The kit includes enough
food to last you an entire week, plus
utensils and a flameless ration heater.

111 servings, 11 pouches


16, 400 total calories; just add water
No refrigeration needed
Packed in a four-gallon pail with handle

Activation time is four minutes


Run time is up to 12 minutes
Medial temperature: 180 degrees
Peak temperature: 220 degrees
Can boil and sterilize water
Shelf life of five years

Defining Features: The Augason Farms

Emergency Food offers an assortment of


great-tasting food in a convenient fourgallon storage pail. Choose from a variety of great-tasting flavors, including buttermilk pancakes and maple and brown
sugar oatmeal for breakfast; and cheesy
broccoli rice and creamy chicken rice for
lunch and dinner. Servings111 of
themcome in 11 convenient pouches,
providing 16,400 calories, enough to last
you for days. Simply add water and the
food is ready to eat; easy as pie.

Defining Features: What use is emer-

gency food if you cant heat it? MealSpec is a state-of-the-art, reliable flameless meal heater. MealSpec reaches 220
degrees Fahrenheit in 12 seconds and
features a run time of 12 minutes. With
this handy heater you can can hard-boil
an egg and even cook fish fillets. This
MRE heater is a perfect add-on for disaster preparedness, camping and hunting
excursions.

MEALSPEC

12 $1.99

MEALSPEC REACHES 220


DEGREES FAHRENHEIT IN 12
SECONDS AND FEATURES A
RUN TIME OF 12 MINUTES.

AUGASON FARMS

11 $22.47

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

SEPTEMBER 2014

MEAL KIT SUPPLY

10 $44.95

57

ASG_1409_INTRO_HOMESTEAD 7/17/14 3:49 AM Page 58

HOMESTEAD
IN THIS SECTION

OVERABUNDANCE + RAISING RABBITS + LIVE OFF GRID + LOG CABIN

HOMESTEADING
HINTS
Practical Knowledge To
Help You Live Off The Grid

SEPTEMBER 2014

PHOTO BY THINKSTOCK

MAKING A LIFE on the homestead is more than satisfying


its a soul-filling feeling when you can provide everything you
need for your family using just your skills and your property.
Even though the lifestyle isnt always easy, it is completely
rewarding for most everyone who practices it. Whether
youre taking the first steps to a homesteading lifestyle or
youve been cultivating your land for several generations,
youll benefit from some of the latest tips that can keep you
well fed and sheltered.
On the following pages, youll find out what it takes to
raise rabbits, how to live off grid and the best way to make a
log cabin into a comfortable and sturdy home.

58

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

ASG_1409_59 7/18/14 12:23 AM Page 59

t
C
E
X
E
P
,
E
N
G
A
R
h
t
E
IN thE W OODS O R ON
,
Y
IL
It
B
IA
R
L
,
E
It
Y
L
A
QU
DUR ABILIt Y

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

SEPTEMBER 2014

ASG_1409_OVER 7/17/14 3:52 AM Page 60

60

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

ASG_1409_OVER 7/17/14 3:52 AM Page 61

HOMESTEAD

PRESERVE
TO CONSERVE
BUMPER CROP OF TOMATOES?
STOCKPILE THAT BOUNTY FOR AN EMERGENCY
BY AMBER ERICKSON GABBEY

Homesteaders all know that bumper crops of


any fruit or vegetable can cause issues.
Tomatoes are the perfect fruit (yes, a tomato is technically a
fruit) to grow because they are nutritious and delicious, but
when they begin to ripen, they often do so at a rate thats too
rapid to eat.
Waste not, want not is every preppers motto, so it will
behoove you to make sure no tomato goes to waste. We have
one word for you: preserve.
If a survival situation should occur, preserved tomatoes
dont require any refrigeration or cooking, making them an
ideal go-to food. Come midwinter, when you seriously need
some fresh foods, youll be glad you took the time to preserve
when the bounty was at its peak.

If you love fresh tomatoes and use them in all sorts of fresh
dishes, keep in mind that you will have less (but still plenty) to
save for later. For many, its a balance of eating enough right
away to appreciate the flavor of a freshly picked tomato, but
saving enough to preserve. Some common ways to eat fresh
tomatoes include eating them raw and sliced, perhaps with
salt and pepper or sugar sprinkled on top. Other common uses
include using them in salads, on sandwiches, in salsa and in
fresh tomato sauces for pasta.
After you pick your fresh tomatoes, store them at room
temperature out of direct sun. They should last like this for
several days. Do not store in the refrigerator; it zaps their taste.
But cooling does slow ripening, so if you have tomatoes that
are getting overly ripe and youre not ready to use them, store
them in the fridge. If you plan to eventually preserve your
tomatoes, use them when they are ripe, but not overripe.

Tomatoes are not only tasty; they are packed


with vital nutrients. Lycopene, the nutrient
most attributed to tomatoes, is actually a
carotenoid (like carrots); it gives the fruit its
bright red hue. Cooking tomatoes makes the
lycopene more available to the body. Research
suggests that lycopene is helpful in preventing
certain cancers.
Other than lycopene, tomatoes also contain vitamin C, potassium and vitamin A
(which comes from beta-carotene, another
carotenoid). Vitamin A helps with eye health.
Perhaps most important, tomatoes contain
antioxidants which help contain free radicals in
the body and reduce inflammation. Some
physicians are linking inflammation to a wide
variety of serious health conditions, like heart
disease and cancer, which makes antioxidants
that much more helpful and important.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

SEPTEMBER 2014

PHOTOS BY THINKSTOCK

FRESH

HEALTH BENEFITS

61

ASG_1409_OVER 7/17/14 3:52 AM Page 62

PRESERVE
TO CONSERVE

62

Another great way to utilize tomatoes is to dry


them. All you need is the
tomatoes, some Ziploctype bags and an oven, a
food dehydrator or even
just an automobile and a
hot, sunny day.
First, cut the tomatoes
in half lengthwise and cut
out the tough part around
the stem, as well as any
bruised or soft areas.
If youve got a dehydrator, lay the tomatoes
out on the tray, sprinkle
with salt and set the thermostat for 140 degrees F.
Youll have dried tomatoes
in three to eight hours.
If youre using an
oven, preheat it to 150
degrees F, arrange tomatoes on cake racks, close
the oven and wait for 10
to 20 hours.
If all youve got is a
car on a sunny day,
spread the tomatoes out
on a shallow tray and
cover them loosely with
cheesecloth. Put the tray
on your dashboard and
aim the car toward direct
sunlight. This method
could take up to two
days, so be patient.
Let the tomatoes cool
to room temp, then put
them in the Ziploc-type
bag (make sure you
squeeze out all the air
from the bag). Store in a
cool, dry place (the freezer
is best) and they will last
for nine months to a year.
Make sure you get as
much moisture out of
them as you possibly can,
because they will mold if
there is too much moisture. If you have access to
a vacuum sealer, use it.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

PRESERVED
Two of the most common ways to preserve foods is freezing or canning. Both
options are great for preserving your harvest,
it just depends on your time, preference or
freezer space.
Freezing tomatoes is an easy way to preserve. Since freezing changes the texture of
the fruit, its best to use frozen tomatoes in
cooked dishes. Some good options are making soups, sauces or sauting.
You can freeze whole, sliced, chopped,
pureed or juiced tomatoes. The most basic
way to freeze tomatoes is to wash them,
remove the stem and core, slice or cut (if
desired) and throw them into freezer bags.
You can also roast tomato halves in the oven
or simmer or stew tomatoes before freezing.
Both raw and cooked tomatoes freeze well,
but save the seasoning until when you use
the frozen tomatoes. Note: Its best to eat
frozen tomatoes within six months or so.
To safely can tomatoes, you will need to
use sterile jars and a pressure cooker or hot
water bath. This makes the process more
time consuming than freezing, but for many,
its worth it. You can do whole stewed, diced
or crushed tomatoes or make sauces, salsas
or soups.
Use a pressure cooker if you want to save
time; they can be a bit costly, but are generally faster than doing a hot water bath, especially if you live at higher altitudes.
The hot water bath involves adding the
tomatoes to jars, then submerging the jars in
boiling water and removing after a specific
amount of time. This kills off bacteria and
seals the jars to keep the food safe and fresh
for future use.

THE PERFECT FOOD


Whether you eat them all fresh or can
them all to feed your family for the winter,
tomatoes are a great option to have around
the house. They are versatile and packed
with tons of vitamins and other nutrients to
keep you healthy, especially when fresh
foods arent accessible or available. Have fun
with your tomato harvest this year by finding
new recipes and experimenting with solutions that work for your harvest, schedule
and taste buds.
Amber Erickson Gabbey, M.A., is a freelance writer and holistic
health expert living at 8,500 feet in the mountains outside of
Boulder, CO.

Fresh Salsa
2-3 tomatoes (more if they are small)
1 small onion
1-2 jalapeo (if you want some heat) or 1 poblano
pepper (for crunch without the heat)
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
Juice of one lime
Salt to taste
Chop everything to the size you like, mix and let it sit
at least 30 minutes. Stir before serving with chips, fish,
tacos or eggs. Do not can salsa.

Simple Tomato Sauce


50 tomatoes
1 large onion
10 cloves garlic
14 cup (or more) of fresh chopped basil
1 tbsp lemon juice per jar (only for canning,
not when freezing)
7 glass pint jars
If freezing, saut onion and garlic in a bit of oil (olive
or coconut both work well) until the onion is translucent.
Add tomatoes and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour mixture into food processor and puree. Put
pureed mixture and chopped basil into a pot and simmer
until the sauce is reduced by about half, stirring frequently. Add to a freezer-safe container and freeze.
If canning, make the recipe the same as above, but
add the lemon juice and sauce to sterilized jars and put
in a hot water bath for 35 minutes.

PHOTOS BY THINKSTOCK

SEPTEMBER 2014

Dried
Tomatoes

ASG_1409_RABBIT-CX.all 7/23/14 7:21 AM Page 63

HOMESTEADING

PHOTOS BY THINKSTOCK

raising

Rabbits
AN EASY, LOW-COST WAY TO PROVIDE PROTEIN YEAR ROUND
BY MICHELE DOELE

IN

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

SEPTEMBER 2014

ORDER TO SURVIVE LONG-TERM, YOU ABSOLUTELY


NEED A PLAN TO PRODUCE FOOD.
Breeding rabbits for meat is an easy, low-cost, highreturn-on-investment solution for providing lean meat for
your family year round. Rabbits are known as the most-efficient small livestock; all they require is a small area thats kept clean in the right
environment and proper feeding to become the answer to your protein needs
and help fertilize your garden as well.
Mark Elwell and his wife have been running Rockys Rabbits, a meat-focused
rabbitry in Bowdoin, Maine, for 10 years. They strive to provide quality stock,
the necessary equipment and plenty of guidance to new and experienced
breeders who want to provide a healthy source of meat to their families.

63

ASG_1409_RABBIT-CX.all 7/23/14 7:21 AM Page 64

raising

Rabbit
IS YOUR HOMESTEAD RIGHT?

suring at least 30 x 30 inches. Keeping the


does separated helps them establish their
One of the most important things before
territory and nesting area. You can build or
beginning a venture into raising rabbits or
buy nesting boxes, but keep in mind rabbits
any livestock is to check your local zoning
do enjoy nibbling on wooden boxes, so metal
ordinances, says Elwell.
is a longer-lasting solution. To reap the most
Because rabbits are not considered livebenefits from breeding, hang the cage
stock, many government agencies have no
directly over a compost pile. Alternatively,
restrictions on breeding. Unlike chickens or
you can spread rabbit droppings directly on
ducks, rabbits are not noisy creatures; so as
plants without fear of burning them.
long as you keep the cages clean to limit
odors and flies, your neighbors might not
even know you have them.
BREEDS AND BREEDING
The number-one killer of rabbits is heat.
The two breeds that provide the highest
They prefer cooler temperatures and need to
meat-to-bone ratio are New Zealand and Calhave a well-ventilated cage with
ifornian. Be careful not to be enticed
plenty of fresh air. If you do live
by the larger breeds. While they
in a warmer climate, make
appear to have more meat,
sure you are getting your
their bones are larger, thus
rabbits fairly close to
reducing the meat-toyour homestead since
bone ratio.
they will be acclimated
I highly recomAs you determine the right herd size, talk with
to those temperatures.
mend buying your rabother homesteaders and work out some barterEven in cooler clibits from a breeder
ing arrangements. They may not want to raise
mates, the cage
with a good reputation
rabbits, but they will certainly recognize the benshould be located in
or one that has been
efits of healthy protein from a source they
the shade and probreeding them for a
know. If you do not have space or do not
tected from wind.
while, Elwell cautions.
want to garden, swapping meat for
Never buy a rabbit that
vegetables is an ideal solution.
does not appear to be in
FIRST THINGS FIRST
perfect health, period. Stick
Get your rabbitry or
with your gut instinct and if it
cages set up before buying the
doesnt look healthy, it probably isnt.
rabbits; this will make the transition
If you are just starting out, two to three
much easier on both you and the rabbits,
does and one buck is plenty. Does can have
advises Elwell.
five litters in a year that produce two to 14
He recommends either wire hanging or
kits (babies). Breeding too quickly after a litstacking cages with removable pans. Each
ter can be stressful on the doe and eventually
doe and buck will need a separate cage meaburn her out. Bring the buck to the does

BARTERING

DIY
HUTCH

SEPTEMBER 2014

Purchase 14-gauge wire


with x 1-inch holes in
3-foot sections. Cut and
use J hooks every 2
inches to attach pieces.
Cut out a section for the
door and attach that with
J hooks. Secure the door
with a simple latch. Use
the following dimensions
for a 36 x 30-inch hutch.

64

Front: 36 x 18 inches
Back: 36 x 18 inches
Top: 36 x 30 inches
Floor: 36 x 30 inches
Sides: 36 x 18 inches
Door: 13 x 14 inches

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

BONUS

[RIGHT] You can purchase


rabbit cages in a feed or pet
store or online; you can also
build one yourself with a
few tools, some supplies
and a little time.
[INSET] Any signs of illness,
such as prolonged sneezing
or discharge, should result
in immediate quarantine.

PHOTOS BY THINKSTOCK

Feeding rabbits hay


helps them maintain a
healthy digestive system
and promotes tooth
growth. Introducing
greens in small quantities to prevent a shock
to the digestive system.

ASG_1409_RABBIT-CX.all 7/23/14 7:21 AM Page 65

PHOTOS BY THINKSTOCK

BENEFITS
Rabbits provide a very high meat-to-bone ratio
and also contain the lowest amount of fat and
cholesterol among protein sources. In addition,
they are easy to digest, all the meat is white,
and one rabbit provides six pounds of meat
from the same amount of feed a cow needs to
produce one pound of meat.

cage for breeding to avoid the male becoming territorial. The gestation period is around
31 days, but can go a few days early or late.
Keep track of your breeding cycles so you
know when the kits are due.

BUTCHERING AND COOKING


FOOD AND HEALTH

The average dress-out weight should


give you a minimum of 50-percent and up to
65-percent in meat, claims Elwell.
This translates into the average litter of
eight kits providing 20-25 pounds of meat.
With several litters a year, a family of four can
easily fill their freezer and enjoy high-quality,
lean meat all year.
When the time comes to butcher your rabbits you may choose to have a butcher do it
or handle it yourself. If you do decide to
butcher your rabbits, take the time to find a
method that causes the least amount of
trauma to the animal and yourself.
Rabbits can be butchered at 10 weeks.
Fryers are up to three months old and their
tender meat can be used as a substitute for
any recipe calling for chicken. Elwell notes
the fryer meat absorbs flavoring incredibly
well and recommends marinating before
grilling because its so lean. Beyond three
months, the animals are considered roasters,
which weigh between 9-10 pounds. These
larger, tougher rabbits should be used in
stews or braised to tenderize the meat.

TAKE CONTROL
Raising rabbits is a great addition to your
food sources if youre bugging out or homesteading. They are easy to raise and they
multiply quickly. Perhaps most important for
preppers, however, is that youre able to
break free from traditional ways of getting
food. You are in control of your food
source, says Elwell.

[ABOVE, RIGHT]
High meat-to-bone ratio
results in a bountiful
yield of healthy protein.

RESOURCES
To find breeders in
your area, visit American Rabbit Breeders
Association at
Arba.net.
For a comprehensive list of illnesses
and symptoms, visit
RabbitBreeders.us.
For more information
on Mark Elwell of
Rockys Rabbits, visit:
Facebook.com/RockysRabbits

SEPTEMBER 2014

For those new to breeding, Elwell recommends a good-quality brand rabbit pellet
with a 16-percent protein minimum for bucks
and growing kits and 18-percent for nursing
does and kits. While many people feed table
scraps to rabbits, Elwell advises to start with
small amounts to allow the rabbits digestive
system to adapt. Changing pellets or introducing new foods too quickly can result in a
sick rabbit or a sudden death. Elwell also
treats the rabbits to hay every few days as a
means of keeping the digestive system moving and teeth in check.
Dust or mold from wet or old hay can
also result in a sick or dead rabbit, warns
Elwell.
The hay should be of good quality and be
kept dry.
Maintaining healthy animals is vital, as diseases can spread quickly and wipe out your
entire herd. Quarantine any new animals for
30-60 days so you can determine if any signs
of illness are present. One of the first signs of
a sick rabbit is not eating.
If a rabbit goes off feed, the first thing
you should do is remove the pellets and feed
it only hay until it gets its appetite back or
you determine the cause, Elwell says. He
personally does not free feed but rather measures food, which enables him to quickly
identify changes in eating habits. Any rabbits
with white discharge from the nose or mouth
should be quarantined or replaced. Such
symptoms are more than likely the result of
Pastuerella, a highly contagious disease with
no known cure that spreads rapidly through
the herd.

[ABOVE, LEFT]
Simply substitute rabbit
in your favorite chicken
recipe for a delicious and
healthy alternative.

Michele Doele is a freelance writer who also works at The


Damariscotta Lake Farm in Jefferson, Maine.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

65

SEPTEMBER 2014

ASG_1409_OFFGRID.CX.all 7/23/14 7:22 AM Page 66

66

the
GOOD
LIFE
AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

ASG_1409_OFFGRID.CX.all 7/23/14 7:22 AM Page 67

HOMESTEAD

The Crafts home sits on


nearly 100 acres in Northern
New York State.

LIVING OFF THE GRID HAS ITS DRAWBACKS,


BUT THE REWARDS FAR OUTWEIGH THEM FOR
THE CRAFT FAMILY TEXT AND PHOTOS BY STEVEN PAUL BARLOW

EING SELF-SUFFICIENT IS WHAT PREPPING IS


ALL ABOUT.
Living off-grid is a goal for many of usand a
worthwhile one.
When Rick and Amy Craft started seeking a little
elbow room in which to raise their family, they didnt know
they were well on their way to settling in to a self-sufficient
way of life and becoming comfortable with all of the benefits
and sacrifices that would entail.

THE 411

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

SEPTEMBER 2014

Homesteaders
Rick and Amy
Craft and their
daughters
Juniper (left) and
Wyntre enjoy
their rural off-thegrid lifestyle in
Northern New
York State.

The Crafts are raising their two daughters, Wyntre, age 7,


and Juniper, age 3, on a 100-acre homestead they purchased
in 2002, completely off the grid in a remote area in northern
New York. They use wind and solar power to provide electricity and cut their own wood to fuel their stove to heat their
home in the winter. They eat vegetables from their own gardens and fruit from their own trees to supplement any meat
Rick is able to obtain through hunting.
Being off the grid, we hesitated at first, Rick said.
The house was on the market for about two years and we
actually visited the house three times over three different seasonsfall, winter and spring. What really clinched it for us was
when we asked him (the owner) to show us one of his favorite
spots on the property and he took us for a walk down some of
these trails through the woods and it was just beautiful.

67

ASG_1409_OFFGRID.CX.all 7/23/14 7:22 AM Page 68

the
GOOD
LIFE

LIVING OFF-GRID IS A GOAL


FOR MANY OF USAND A
WORTHWHILE ONE.
For the Crafts, there are no
Broadway plays or bright city lights.
But they have miles of trails suitable
for hiking or riding an ATV or snowmobile. They have no television or
Internet, but they are attuned to
natures steady parade, to the deer,
turkeys and occasional bear that
wander into view. Bluebirds nest and
raise their young just outside their
windows.

SEPTEMBER 2014

CHANGE IS GOOD

68

The few adjustments to living off


the grid actually came easy to them.
You dont have your computer
on all the time. You dont have a
television running, Amy said.
Once you get used to the routine, its just second nature. You dont
think about turning the lights out
because you just do it. You walk out
of the room, you turn the light off.
The Crafts arent totally independent from the outside world. Both
Rick and Amy still have full-time jobs.
But they are more buffered from
potentially devastating natural and
societal occurrences that can disrupt

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

[TOP LEFT]
The wind generator, 105 feet in
the air, is erected
on a gin pole with
cables that allows
it to be lowered
whenever maintenance is required.
[TOP RIGHT]
A 1,500-watt
windmill and two
solar arrays generate all of the electricity the family
needs.
[RIGHT]
The Crafts have a
5,500-watt generator powered by
propane as a
backup to their
wind and solar
system.

ASG_1409_OFFGRID.CX.all 7/23/14 7:23 AM Page 69

POWER
SOURCES
GENERATEPowering the Crafts
home took more thought than
simply calling a company to turn
on the electricity. Because they
are in such a rural area, it would
have cost about $30,000 to have
the power company run the poles
and wires to their homestead, so
generating their own electricity
was a better option.

[ABOVE] Plastic barrels catch rainwater to be used to water the


Crafts gardens.
[BELOW] Crafts ATV is an all-around workhorse used to haul
firewood and gardening materials and to do some light snowplowing during the winter.

HARNESSTo take advantage of


the local breezes, the Crafts have
a 1500-watt wind generator. Its
on a gin pole with cables that
provides the leverage to lower
the 105-foot windmill tower
more easily whenever maintenance is necessary. Rick has had
to lower the windmill maybe
three times in 10 years to change
the brushes or bearings in the
generator or to inspect the Fiberglas wings for cracks.
USE SUNThe Crafts have two
solar arrays on their property. The
first array consists of 10 panels
and was on the property when
they bought it.
The first set of solar panels is
older technology, Rick said.
Those panels are probably about
2 feet by 4 feet and they put out
about 75 watts each.
Their newer array is about
four years old and is much more
efficient. Each of eight panels in
this array generates about 125
watts.
For the most part the solar
panels are much more efficient
and maintenance free and they
last much longer, Rick said.
The solar does about 90 percent of what we need and the
windmill probably only about 10
percent.

COMPLETE CONTROLEverything pertaining to the Crafts


electrical system can be controlled from inside their home.
While their solar panels are in a
fixed position facing south, they
can be tipped to match the suns
changing elevation or to slide the
snow buildup off of them in the
winter.
WOOD WARMTHDuring the
winter, the Crafts heat their entire
1,800-square-foot home with a
Hearthstone wood stove located
between their kitchen and living
room. If they are away from home
and cant stoke the stove, their
hot-water baseboard heat kicks
on automatically. Their home is
efficient: they use about seven
face cords of wood a year to heat
their home. (A face cord is a stack
of cut fire wood 4 feet high, by 8
feet long, by 18 inches wide.)
Its typical for the wood
stove to keep the living quarters
at 80 degrees all winter long,
Rick said.
Well actually crack the windows to regulate the temperature
and to let fresh air into the
house.
EMERGENCY POWERThey also
have an emergency backup
5,500-watt generator fueled by a
500-gallon propane tank.
Thats capable of charging
the battery bank to full in about
eight hours or so, Rick said. The
generator will run for about
seven days on a full tank of
propane. The battery bank itself
provides enough electricity for
about five days.

(continued on page 125)


AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

SEPTEMBER 2014

USE IT UPAs the batteries


approach a full charge, the DC

charge controllers on their system automatically drop the


charging rate down to a trickle.
Any extra energy generated is not
wasted. Its diverted to a hot
water tank to preheat water thats
then fed into their boiler.

69

ASG_1409_LOG 7/17/14 6:27 AM Page 70

HOMESTEAD

FORMIDABLE

FORTRESS

LIBERTY CUSTOM LOG HOMES OFFER


SECURITY, DURABILITY AND AFFORDABILITY

BY TORREY KIM
Photography Courtesty of LIBERTY LOG CABINS

AS

A PREPPER, YOU WANT A SOLID FORTRESS WHERE YOU


CAN KEEP YOUR FAMILY SAFE, BUT ALSO ONE THAT
DOESNT RELY TOO HEAVILY ON USING PUBLIC UTILITIES.
The good news is you can accomplish this goal without
having to move off of your own property by customizing a Liberty Log Cabin
for your specific needs.

SEPTEMBER 2014

BUILT TOUGH

70

A properly built log home is more energy efficient than a frame home, says
Charles Knight, vice president with Liberty Log Cabins.
Its more airtight, and it has thermal mass that helps it stay warmer in winter and cooler in summer than a conventionally built insulated house.
In addition, a cedar home is naturally resistant to rot, decay, and insects,
making it one of the most secure places you can live with your family. But if you
are more likely to be seeking the cozy dream cabin of your dreams that youve
been envisioning for years, the Liberty Log Cabin can attain that goal as well.
The cabins have a natural warmth and beauty about them, Knight says.
A log home is something people dream about and think about for years.
They may buy four or five conventional homes in their lifetimes, but one day
they want to buy a log home and we help people do that.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

ASG_1409_LOG 7/17/14 6:28 AM Page 71

CHOOSE YOUR SIZE


Whether youre looking for a tiny bug-out cabin
or a huge, sprawling home, you can achieve
your dream with the right log cabin design.
Although you might think log homes are only
available in small sizes, thats a myth.
Weve done a house up to 6,900 square
feet and you can even go bigger than that,
Knight says. Whatever specifications you have,
we can typically work with them.

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION

A PROPERLY BUILT LOG HOME IS MORE ENERGY


EFFICIENT THAN A FRAME HOME.
CHARLES KNIGHT, VICE PRESIDENT, LIBERTY LOG CABINS

TAKE YOUR TIME


Liberty Log Cabins works with you
on your timeline, but dont rush it
you can spend as long as you need
to when youre working on the
design of your dream home.
The shortest time we ever had
just to get someone started was four
days and the longest is seven years,

so we dont rush anyone; they need


to be ready to build before finalizing
their design, Knight says.
Typically, we usually work with
people for about two years before
they start their house, which gives
them time to work on the budget,
size, specs, and so forth.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

SEPTEMBER 2014

One of the barriers that many people cite


when theyre first on the hunt for a log cabin
is that they dont have a manufacturer or
designer nearby. But you can easily jump that
hurdle as long as you have the land available
that will fit your dream cabin.
If someone has a piece of land anywhere
in the country, we will walk the land with them
and help them plan the house, Knight says.
Well then make them an operational
almost idyllichouse because we custom
design it based on what each person wants.
Liberty Log Cabins designers will then
take the homeowners requests and design
the home with those requirements in mind.
They will manufacture the cedar components
and send the materials to the build location,
then work directly with local builders in that
area to construct the house.
We work with local contractors directly
because they know the local building restrictions, code enforcement officers, sources of the
best concrete, and other essential issues that
go along with building a home, Knight says.
We stay on site for two-and-a-half days for
technical assistance in case there are any

71

ASG_1409_LOG 7/17/14 6:28 AM Page 72

FORMIDABLE

FORTRESS

FAQs
Can I do this myself?
If you have basic knowledge of construction and
are able to read a basic
architectural plan then
you can build your own
Liberty Log cabin.
The logs are pre-cut,
the window and door
openings are cut and corner details are drilled for
the lags.
Remember that
theres a tech supervisor
onsite to teach you what
to do.

SEPTEMBER 2014

Can I afford this?


There are a lot of factors
that figure into cost of
any construction, and a
log home generally runs
five percent more than a
comparable frame home.
The Friend & Family
cabins offer economy of
scale (there are only
three models) and are
optimized for material
usage. If you dont get
fancy with the interior finish, the final cost should
be about the same as a
frame model of the same
quality, but youll have
the advantage of a solid
cedar structure thats airand watertight with low
energy costs.

72

Where do I start?
First you need your land
before you start planning
your cabin. Next, the
company meets with you
and helps you design
your cabin to your specs.
Note: It generally
takes two to four weeks
less total build time for
log as opposed to frame
(fewer labor steps and
fewer types of materials).

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

KNOW
THIS ONE
RESTRICTION
You can do almost anything to a log
home that you can accomplish in a
frame-based homeexcept one.
The only design restriction we have is that we
cant put in corner windows, Knight says. The
structural integrity of a log house is dependent on joining the corners properly,
which you cant do if windows are
in the corner.

issues that the builders might have. This is infinitely more helpful than just giving the contractor a video or website, because we can
personally answer their specific questions.

TIME WAITS FOR NO ONE


You just dont know when youre going to
need a safe place for you and your family.
The sooner you start on your cabin in the
woods, the sooner youll have peace of mind
knowing you can hide in plain sight.
In addition, friends and family can build
the log cabins. In fact, Knight says, its possible to create an entire community of likeminded survivalists by constructing your
cabin near other similar structures. Each
cabin will then be hiding in plain sight among
one other, ready to house all of the local families that are seeking similar lifestyles.
Once the cabin is completely constructed,
theres only one thing left to domove in
and start living your dream.

LOG CABINS,
OLD SCHOOL
Log cabins werent always so comfortable. Some
fun facts about old-style cabins:
Log cabins were often very small. Common sizes
were 10 feet wide by 12 to 24 feet in length, and
cabins were often a single room with a sleeping loft.
Large stones were used as foundation points for
cabins to keep the logs out of direct contact with
damp soil, which would encourage rot and deterioration of the wood.
Construction required stuffing available items,
such as leaves, moss and dried manure, between
the logs for insulation and filler. This stuffing was
then covered with mud, both inside the cabin and
out, to create chinking to seal out the elements.
Cabins were built in a variety of styles, including
dogtrot, double-pen and saddle bag.
Source: Ehow.com

Torrey Kim is a freelance writer based in Apex, N.C.

FOR MORE INFORMATION


To get a closer look at the designs that Liberty Log Cabins creates, visit the companys website at: Logs.net

ASG_1409_73 7/18/14 12:26 AM Page 73

Dillon Precisions

XL650
STANDARD FEATURES:

www.dillonprecision.com
Too receive
e i e a FREE
REE Catalog,
atalog call
all 800-762-3845
0 62 3845 and
nd askk for
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79 4690

ASG_1409_BG_BELTS 7/17/14 4:12 AM Page 74

Buyers Guide
BELTS

BELT BONANZA

SEPTEMBER 2014
74

THERE ARE BELTS and then there are tactical belts. While everyday belts
keep your pants up, tactical belts have the added bonus of holding your
most important gear, including holsters and hunting knives.
Choosing a belt comes down to balancing comfort with style. Before
you select your ideal belt, you need to figure out where youll be wearing
it the majority of the time. For example, if youll be wearing it with casual
clothing, youll want a belt thats lightweight. On the other hand, if youll
be wearing it to hold your holster, youll want a heavy-duty belt you can
count on when you need it most.
Check out our selection of the belt tactical belts to carry your most
prized outdoor gear.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

PHOTO COURTESY OF BUSHIDO TACTICAL

CHOOSE THE RIGHT TACTICAL BELT TO CARRY A HOST OF SURVIVAL MUSTS

ASG_1409_BG_BELTS.CX.75 7/23/14 1:38 AM Page 75

BELTS Buyers
Guide

511 TACTICAL

1 $94.99
COLUMBIA

2 $15

BC BELTS

3 $6.99

JTC BELT

TIGHTENING YOUR BELT SHOULD BE THE


LEAST OF YOUR WORRIES WHEN YOURE IN
A LIFE-OR-DEATH SITUATION.

1 511 TACTICAL
PRODUCT: Maverick

3 BC BELTS

4 JTC BELT

WEBSITE: Columbia.com
PRICE: $15

Military Style
WEBSITE: Amazon.com
PRICE: $6.99

PRODUCT: Nice Shades


Military-Style Canvas Web Belt
WEBSITE: JTCBelt.com
PRICE: $9.99

Specifications:

Specifications:

Specifications:

Specifications:

Fast and convenient riggers


belt
Ergonomic design
Easy on and off
Quick-attach web loop

100 percent cotton


Adjustable to fit up to size 42
waist
Rugged and durable

Black buckle and tip


Fully adjustable
56 inches
Canvas material

Defining Features: The Columbia

Defining Features: If youre look-

Snap-on silver roller buckle


closure
Brown
Length: 56 inches
One size fits all
Tough

Mens Military Style Belt is an


adjustable belt made to fit you no
matter your waist size. Not only is
it comfortable, its dependable;
you can rely on it to carry your
most important gear when you
need it most. The belt is very
thick, so it wont get damaged
easily, no matter how often you
wear it. Its functional and fits in
fine with your everyday street
clothing.

ing for an inexpensive yet durable


belt, you should consider BC
Belts Web Belt Military Style belt.
Its perfect for securing either
cargo pants during winter or khaki
shorts during summer. The belt
and buckle are high quality, especially for a price of less than $10.
These belts look like they came
straight out of the military.

Assaulters Belt
WEBSITE: 511Tactical.com
PRICE: $94.99

Defining Features: Tightening


PHOTO COURTESY OF BUSHIDO TACTICAL

2 COLUMBIA

4 $9.99

Style Belt

PRODUCT: Web Belt,

Defining Features: Dont let its

looks fool youthis belt not only


looks good, its functional as well.
Its fully adjustable to fit all different waist sizes; all you have to do
is cut it to the correct length. The
snap-on closure makes for easy
on-and-off maneuvers.
SEPTEMBER 2014

your belt should be the least of


your worries when youre in a lifeor-death situation. Maverick
Assaulters Belt features a one-time
adjustmentadjust it snugly for
your waist size and forget about it.
Not only is it easy to adjust, its
simple to unbuckle, too. Its strong
enough to support all your gear
without causing discomfort. It
even comes with an added bonus
a quick-attach web loop at the
front for hanging extra gear.

PRODUCT: Mens Military-

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

75

ASG_1409_BG_BELTS 7/17/14 4:12 AM Page 76

Buyers BELTS
Guide

DONT LET ITS SIMPLE DESIGN FOOL YOU.

5 CONDOR

PRODUCT: Tactical Belt


WEBSITE: CondorOutdoor.com
PRICE: $13.95-$64.08

VOODOO
7TACTICAL

PRODUCT: Nylon BDU Belt


WEBSITE: VoodooTactical.com
PRICE: $8.73

CONDOR

5 $13.95-$64.08

Specifications:

Includes two magazine pouches


Two inches wide with quick
release buckle
Fits up to 44-inch waist

Specifications:

Defining Features: Dont let its

Defining Features: The Nylon

simple design fool you; the Condor Tactical Belt is one rugged
belt, able to withstand the toughest of conditions. It fits easily
around waist sizes up to 44 inches
and adjusts to fit snug, but not too
tight. The belt keepers ensure it
stays where its supposed to sit. It
even comes with two magazine
pouches, perfect for storing extra
ammunition.

BDU Belt is just the high-quality


product youd expect from Voodoo
Tactical. Its designed to be worn
with Battle Dress Uniform (BDU),
although you can wear it with your
everyday clothes. This fully
adjustable belt is made of nylon
and includes a metal buckle with
Velcro to keep your pants from
sagging, resulting in a proper
look. Measuring 1 inches wide,
the belt is strong and durable.

Metal buckle with Velcro


D-ring closure
Heavy duty

THOMAS BATES DESIGNS

$13.95 6

THOMAS BATES
6DESIGNS
8 BLACKHAWK!

PRODUCT: Hiker Belt


WEBSITE: ThomasBates.com
PRICE: $13.95

PRODUCT: CQB/Riggers Belt


WEBSITE: BlackHawk.com
PRICE: $16.30-$193.49

Specifications:

Specifications:

Sturdy nylon web


Locking polycarbonate buckle
One size, fits up to size 42
inches
Cut to size

MIL-STD-858 with parachute


grade buckles and adapters
Hook and loop secures running
end
Three sizes: small (up to 34
inches), regular (up to 41
inches), and large (41-51
inches)

SEPTEMBER 2014

Defining Features: With the

76

Thomas Bates Hiker Belt, notches


are a thing of the past. The clasp
works great for securing the belt.
Even if youve put on a few extra
pounds, as long as you leave
some extra belt length, you can
expand it to fit your extra girth. It
comes with a durable polycarbonate plastic buckle, made to last.
The belt comes in colors to suit different tastes, including black,
navy, khaki, brown, olive,
graphite and forest.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

VOODOO TACTICAL

7 $8.73

Defining Features: This high-

quality belt is as durable as belts


getit includes parachute grade
buckles and adapters. The belt
comes in a variety of colors and
three different waist sizes all the
way up to 51 inches. Made with
7,000-pound tensile strength,
1.75-inch webbing for durability,
the belt comes with the added
bonus of a hook and loop.

BLACKHAWK!

$16.30 8
-$193.49

ASG_1409_BG_BELTS 7/17/14 4:12 AM Page 77

BELTS Buyers
Guide
511 TACTICAL

9 $42.99

ELITE SURVIVAL SYSTEMS

10 $51.96-$64.95
UTG

11 $11.14
511 TACTICAL

12 $64.99

9 511 TACTICAL
PRODUCT: Trainer Belt
WEBSITE: 511Tactical.com
PRICE: $42.99
Specifications:

Converts to a tie down, carry


strap or emergency harness
Stainless steel, 6,000-pound
buckle
Fade and rip resistant
1.5-inches wide
Defining Features: Never hike

PRODUCT: Shooters Belt


WEBSITE: EliteSurvival.com
PRICE: $51.96 - $64.95
Specifications:

1.5-inch heavy-duty, Mil-Spec


nylon webbing construction
Stiffened to support holsters,
pouches
Perfect for concealed carry
Cobra buckle
Defining Features: If youre look-

ing for a durable shooting belt,


this super-strong offering is made
from Mil-Spec nylon webbing and
includes the patented Cobra loadbearing, quick- release fastener.
The belt is guaranteed to last for
years and features an internal
stiffener to support holsters and
pouches. Its Velcro adjustable to
ensure a perfect fit.

UTG

511 TACTICAL

PRODUCT: Heavy-Duty

PRODUCT: Apex T-Rail

Web Belt

Belt

WEBSITE: Leapers.com
PRICE: $11.14

WEBSITE: 511Tactical.com
PRICE: $64.99

Specifications:

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AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

SEPTEMBER 2014

your pants up again. Rugged and


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77

ASG_1409_INTRO_WILDERNESS 7/17/14 4:15 AM Page 78

WILDERNESS

LOW-TECH SOLUTIONS + COMPASS NAVIGATION + WILD EDIBLES

WILD CARD

SEPTEMBER 2014

Use This Valuable Information


And Leave Nothing To Chance
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78

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

HOW WOULD YOU describe your favorite salad? Some greens,


a touch of fruit and perhaps some seasoning? You dont need to
head to the grocery store to secure the ingredients of this timetested delectable. Instead, there is a way to find edible plants in
the wilderness, if you use careful identification skills and remind
your palate what real wild food tastes like.
On the following pages, youll find out exactly which summer
plants are safe and tasty to consume, as well as tips on how to
ensure youll never be lost. Consider these navigation pointers the
next time you head out on the dusty trail so you can always find
your way back without a problem. And if you do get lost, read on
to learn exactly how to get found.

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ASG_1409_79 7/18/14 12:28 AM Page 79

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ASG_1409_LOWTECH 7/18/14 3:11 AM Page 80

WILDERNESS

SIMPLE
SOLUTIONS
LOW-TECH WAYS TO GET FOUND IN THE WILD
BY MICHAEL NEISWENDER

OBILE PHONES HAVE


MADE IT SO EASY TO
CALL FOR HELP IN AN
EMERGENCY THAT
MANY OUTDOORSPEOPLE FORGET HOW LOST THEY CAN BE
WITHOUT ONE.
These days, its a quick dial of the
phone to 911 or a text message to a
friend and youre in touch with rescue.
But if the phone is damaged,
dead, left behind or just unexpectedly out of range, the situation is
quite different, and youre back to
signaling for help the way you would
50 years ago. Granted, you could
carry a satellite phone or an EPIRB,
but thats still of no use if you get
separated from your gear.
It pays to review the basics of
low-tech signaling so youre prepared for a situation like this. Read
on to learn about established international conventions and techniques
for signaling that could get you out
of a nasty jam.

80

Whatever method you choose to


signal for help, you need to make
sure it stands out from the background noise. The international convention, based on the Morse code

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

PHOTOS BY THINKSTOCK

SEPTEMBER 2014

RULE OF THREE

ASG_1409_LOWTECH 7/18/14 3:11 AM Page 81

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WHATEVER METHOD YOU CHOOSE TO SIGNAL FOR HELP, YOU NEED


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signal, is a group of any three signalsvisual or audible. Its based on


the original SOS code of three
dots/three dashes/three dots.
You must deliver any signal
intended for search and rescue in a
clear group of three evenly spaced
sounds or three clearly defined visuals arranged in a triangle. One gun
blast might be a hunter, but three
evenly spaced blasts repeated at
intervals is a clear signal to rescuers.

THE HIGH ROAD


If you are mobile, you want to get
to the highest area and one with the
largest clear and open space you can
find. If youve got a 10-mile horizon,
rescuers can potentially see your signal from that far away. In most cases,

backcountry searches will include an


air search, so being in the open is
key to being seen by an aircraft.

FIRE IT UP
The simplest and most effective
method to signal for help is to build
three signal fires in the shape of a triangle. Fire is great because you get
long-range visibility from the columns
of smoke during the day. Fire is also
ideal at night when the bright flame
is visible for miles. Use common
sense when you build a fire so you
dont inadvertently start a wildfire.
Fires dont have to be large as much
as they have to be smoky, so build
yours with hardwood and pile on
green leaves and branches, grass and
wet leaves; or, you can even douse

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ASG_1409_LOWTECH.CX.82 7/22/14 11:42 PM Page 82

SIMPLE
SOLUTIONS

BE FLASHY
You can make a highly effective
visual signal to aircraft or distant rescuers with a mirror or other reflector
on a sunny day. This is such a simple
tool that you should always carry an
emergency mirror with you (some
are the size of a credit card and can
fit in your wallet or pocket).
Even without a signal mirror you
can improvise with other reflective

SEPTEMBER 2014

MIRROR
SIGNALING

82

To signal with a mirror, face the sun


and hold the mirror to your eye so the
sun is reflected away from you. Raise
the back of your hand a full arms
length and focus the reflection from
the mirror onto the back of your hand.
Next, pick an object some distance
awayfor target practice, try to get
something reflective, like a stop sign,
so youll know youre hitting it. Hold
the mirror close to your eye (or over
your eye if you are using a rescue
mirror with an aiming hole) then
track your extended hand so it covers
your line of sight on the distant target while you keep the reflected light
aimed on your hand. When aimed
properly, your hand blocks the light
from the mirror to the target.
Drop your hand to send the signal
flash to the target, then raise it again
to end the signal. Repeat this three
times to send a recognizable distress
signal. When it comes to aircraft signaling, use the same method and
track your hand along with the movement of the aircraft.

ONCE YOURE SPOTTED


Once you are noticed by a potential rescuer, particularly in
an aircraft, raise both arms overhead in a Y shape to indicate that YES, you need help. You can even do this laying
on the ground if you are immobilized. Be aware that in rescue parlance, one hand up and one down like an N shape indicates that NO, rescue is not needed. Make sure you dont look
casual at the last minute and inadvertently wave off help.
An aircraft will dip its wings repeatedly on a low pass to confirm that you have been spotted. A helicopter will usually be able to give you a visual signal from the crew on a low hover.
Depending on the circumstances, the helicopter crew may commence rescue immediately or
make the decision to send in a ground team. In any event, its important that you maintain
your signaling to guide the rescuers to your location.

objects: mirrored sunglasses, shiny


metal cookware or glass, etc. It isnt
simple to effectively aim a signal
mirror so its a good thing to practice at home before you need to do
it. Pre-made rescue mirrors usually
include printed instructions and
some kind of aiming tool, like a small
hole in the mirror.
At night, you can make an effective visual signal by swinging a light
rapidly in a circle overhead. A chemical light stick is the best choice for
this. Buy the high-luminosity type
made for signaling rather than the
ones you get at the party store for
your kids on Halloween. You can also
do this with a flashlight. Tie a rope or
string onto the light source and
swing it rapidly overhead in a circle,
creating a much larger area of light.
Pause three times to make three distinct signals.

MAKE SOME NOISE


Sound signals like whistles, gun
blasts, or even shouting are effective, especially in close proximity or
when your location is concealed.

Keep in mind that in mountainous


terrainand especially in canyon
landsechoes will make it much
harder to determine the direction of
your signal so try not to rely on
sound alone.
A signal whistle should be part of
your outdoor gear and you can find
them handily built into a backpack
buckle or incorporated into a flashlight
handle. Its a simple and inexpensive
item to add to the zipper pull of a coat
or a key ring, so go ahead and grab
one for a few dollars on your next trip
to an outdoor gear store.

ADVANCE WORK
All the above signaling strategies
assume someone knows to look for
you. If this isnt the case, its going to
take a lot more luck to catch the
attention of a potential rescuer and
make clear that your signal is in fact,
a request for help.
Make sure you follow sensible
practices and advise others of your
plan and expected return date. This
doesnt mean sacrificing your secret
fishing or hiking spot; just leave a
note in your vehicle about your route
of travel or destination and tell
someone you trust when you are
departing and returning. That way, if
you are overdue, searchers can
determine your likely location and,
with your good signaling skills, find
you easily.
Michael Neiswender is a freelance wrier with a strong
interest in all things outdoor- and travel-related.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

PHOTOS BY THINKSTOCK

parts of the fire with water to create


as much smoke as possible.
If you cant tend to three fires due
to injury or other reasons like limited
resources, build a single fire, but try
to use the native smoke signal technique. Briefly cover a very smoky fire
with a tarp, coat or a mat of green
branches. Then periodically remove
the cover to let out a large cloud of
smoke. Do this three times to send
up a signal of three puffs of smoke.

ASG_1409_83 7/22/14 1:28 AM Page 83

ASG_1409_NAV 7/18/14 3:30 AM Page 84

PHOTO BY THINKSTOCK

WILDERNESS

YOU ARE
IF YOURE LOST IN THE WILD, YOU BETTER KNOW HOW TO USE A COMPASS AND MAP
TEXT AND PHOTOS BY TONY NESTER

L
SEPTEMBER 2014

ETS FACE IT: IF YOURE IN THE GREAT OUTDOORS AND YOU CANT NAVIGATE WITH A
HANDHELD COMPASS AND TOPOGRAPHIC
MAP, YOURE SUNK.
The ability to navigate with these tools is a hallmark
outdoor skill and can not only help you avoid getting lost,
but also locate water sources, road junctions and the best
routes to take through challenging terrain.

84

THE BIG THREE


There are three areas on which to focus regarding
these time-tested navigation tools: using a topographic

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

without a compass, following a compass bearing without a


map and using a map and compass together.
Each of these is important to learn and is partly dependent on the terrain and your goals. For instance, if I am in
the desert with 90-mile visibility, I may just pull out my
topo map and use the easily identified peaks, canyons and
mesas to pinpoint my general whereabouts. I do this a lot
where I live, as the incredible vistas make triangulating my
position relatively easy. If I need to reach an exact location such as a small spring, then I will use the compass in
conjunction with my map. However, when I am in the jungle or forest, I always use my map and compass together.

ASG_1409_NAV 7/18/14 3:30 AM Page 85

The only time I use my compass by


itself is if I am given a set of predetermined bearings to follow. Having a compass dangling around your
neck does little good unless you
have a topo map to go with it or
already have known bearings.

PHOTO BY THINKSTOCK

TOPOGRAPHIC MAP
Below are what I consider essential identifiers on a topo map.
Contour lines: These lines indicated the steepness of flatness of
the terrain. Lines that are tightly
packed will indicate a steep mountainside, cliff or deep canyon; conversely, contour lines that are widely
spaced will be indicative of a relatively flat region, such as a meadow
or field.
Contour interval: The spacing of
those contour lines will give you a
feel for the difficulty of a region you
may be traversing but keep in mind
that each maps contour lines vary.
This information is located in the
center margin at the bottom of the
topo map. I have some maps that
have contour intervals listed as 10,

The anatomy of a baseplate compass:


1) Direction of travel arrow is inscribed on
the flat part outside the compass housing. 2)
The magnetic north needle is free-floating
with one-half red and the other half being
black. 3) The shed is found inside the housing. 4) The white line on the housing dial
with the numbers, is the place where you
read your bearing.

grid north. The third is usually a star,


which refers to true north.
The latter aligns with Polaris, the
North Star, and is totally separate
from magnetic north, which is a
physical location, 800 miles to the
southeast on Baffin Island. MN and
TN are the two you will use to adjust
for declination. This is the difference
between that red magnetic north
needle in your compass and true
north, which was that geographic
spot where all the Danish and British
polar explorers were trying to plant
their flags.
Without adjusting for magnetic
declination, a map and compass is
useless, and will result in you getting
way off course, if not lost. Keep in
mind that declination is different for
each state (and even within states)
and changes slightly each year. The
number listed on your map is not
going to be accurate if it was from
the 1960s. Call the USGS (U.S. Geological Survey) office or look online
and make sure you get the current
magnetic declination for whatever
state youre visiting.

HAVING A COMPASS DANGLING AROUND YOUR NECK DOES LITTLE GOOD UNLESS YOU
HAVE A TOPO MAP TO GO WITH IT OR ALREADY HAVE PRE-DETERMINED BEARINGS.
COMPASS
Now, put aside the topo map for a few minutes as we
delve into the anatomy of a compass. Personally, I like the
standard baseplate compasses made by Silva or Suunto. I
will refer to bearings when I mention the numbers on your
compass housing, which means the same as the term
azimuth if you want to talk military navigation language.
On your compass, you will see three arrows. One of these
is inscribed on the baseplate, outside of the liquid-filled
round housing. The other two arrows are inside the housing. One of these is red and free-floating. The other arrow
is drawn and resembles a red shed.
Magnetic north is the red arrow. This red arrow can be
affected by power lines, iron-ore deposits in the ground,
the metal of your vehicle, a metal zipper in your jacket
and other external factors in your environment.
The shed arrow is used to line up your magnetic north
needle with the bearing you dial in on the compass housing.
The direction-of-travel arrow is inscribed on the flat
exterior of the plate outside of the compass housing. This
is used after you have lined up the two interior arrows and

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

SEPTEMBER 2014

20 and 40 feet. This can make a huge difference when


youre trying to get water from a canyon. A 10-foot drop
might be doable, but a 40-foot drop is going to turn into
a technical rock climb. Always make sure you take note of
the contour interval when youre poring over your map.
Map date: Look for the maps publication date in the
bottom right corner. Many printed topo maps were done
in the 1960s, and while the large-scale features (mountains, canyons, rivers) wont have changed much, the
roads, springs and man-made structures will. On one survival course, we did a land navigation exercise to a water
tank listed on our topo map, knowing it was dated 1956.
We trekked cross-country and arrived four miles later at
the water source, which turned out to be a rusty steel
water tank turned on its side with shotgun holes in it.
Always check the publication date and then call the local
Forest Service office to get the location of current roads,
backcountry water sources and private property.
Magnetic Declination Figure: On most maps, this will
be a cluster of three arrows pointing north and located in
the bottom margin on the left side. One will indicate MN,
which is magnetic north; another will indicate GN, which is

85

ASG_1409_NAV 7/18/14 3:30 AM Page 86

you are going on a four-day


backpacking trip; each X
The manual to have, for
should indicate a new campboth beginning and advanced
site. Next, draw a line with
students, is the classic, Be Expert with
a ruler or the edge of your
Map and Compass by Bjorn Kjellstrom. In
compass, connecting all
addition to showing how to triangulate and
four spots.
shoot back-bearings, this book has numerTo determine the
ous field exercises and orienteering chaladjusted bearing from
lenges. You can also look into your local
point one to point two:
gear stores which often have classes
Place
your compass edge on
on both map and compass
the line and dial the compass
and GPS use.
housing until the N is at the
top and the red lines in the compass housing are parallel with the grid
lines on your topo map. It is crucial that the N is always on
top so it corresponds with grid north, which as the top of
the topo map.
Record the bearing on your compass dial and adjust for
magnetic declination. Where I live in Arizona, I have to subPlace your compass on the line connecting the two points you will be hiktract 11 degrees to get my adjusted bearing. If you are
ing to. Rotate the compass housing so the lines in the compass housing
are aligned with the grid lines on the topo map and N is at the top.
back in the eastern U.S. you may have to add based upon
Then read your bearing and adjust for declination by adding or subtracting (depending on where you live in the US) to arrive at your adjusted
bearing.

will point you in the right direction if youre following a


precise bearing.
So far, Ive just talked about the compass layout, so to
put it all together, first stand up and plug the compass
into your midsection. The bottom plate of the compass
should rest squarely in your gut and will not be turned at
any point. The compass dial, however, will be turned; you
will dial-in a bearing; lets say 84 degrees. To accomplish
this, rotate the numeric dial until the number is lined up
on the static white line on the housing. Next, turn your
entire body (remember, not the compass) until the red
magnetic north needle lines up directly over the red shed
drawing. Now look at the direction of travel arrowthats
the way you need to walk to get to your destination if you
have pre-determined bearings.
If you want to practice this outside, then use the 53dgree, 171-degree and 289-degree bearings on level
ground. This will create a triangle pattern and have you
arrive back at your starting point if you have performed all
of the above steps correctly. This is based upon my pace
count so you may be a few feet short or overstep your
starting position, but you should be in line with your point
of origin (marked by a water bottle). A pace is where you
count every time your right foot touches the ground. Walk
five paces for each bearing.

Always find the contour interval for your topographic map which is
located in the bottom center. This will tell you how steep the terrain features on your map will be and could make all the difference between a
leisurely walk or a rugged trek.

SEPTEMBER 2014

MAP AND COMPASS

86

Once youve got the basics of a topo map and compass down, putting them together can result in a very
accurate way of getting around.
First, lay out a topo map on a flat surface and mark off
four arbitrary spots, spaced a few miles apart. Lets say

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

Located at the bottom left of a topo map are the figures for grid north
(GN), magnetic north (MN), and true north (the star image). The difference
between MN and true north will provide you with the declination for that
region. Note that this figure indicates 14 1/2 degrees because this map is
from 1969. You can obtain the current declination by visiting the
USGS.gov site.

ASG_1409_NAV 7/18/14 3:30 AM Page 87

YOU ARE
Perform this exercise for the three remaining marks on
your map and you will have obtained the adjusted bearings for walking this route.

JUST DO IT

The tighter the contour lines, the more difficult the terrain will be to negotiate. This crater shows a steep slope on the left and a more gradual slope
on the right where the contour lines are spaced further apart.

the information you got from the USGS site for your region.
Write the final number down on the line on your map so
you have this adjusted bearing visible for when you arrive
at the field and plan on walking your proposed route.

Of course, this has been an academic approach to


learning how to use a map and compass. You will have to
put all this together while on field exercises to refine your
navigation skills. A good way to start is by trying it with a
friend over a short distance of a quarter mile. This will
enable you to safely build your ability to walk a bearing
and overlay what you are seeing on your topo map with
the actual landscape.
Remember: A GPS unit is no substitute for being able
to use a map and compass. Learn the latter approach and
you will always be able to find your way around the backcountry. Like all survival skills, land navigation is a perishable ability so practice several times a season or consider
participating in an orienteering competition, at the very
least, to keep yourself on track in the wilds.
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.

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87

ASG_1409_PLANTS 7/18/14 3:44 AM Page 88

PHOTO BY THINKSTOCK

WILDERNESS

THE POWER OF

PLANTS
If

SEPTEMBER 2014

THESE TOP FIVE WILD EDIBLES CAN HELP YOU SURVIVE TEXT AND PHOTOS BY TONY NESTER

88

YOURE BUGGING OUT and happen to have a bunch of prepared food on


hand, great. But sooner or later youre going to have to rely on the land for a
food source, so why not start with edible plants?
If you delve into the wild edible plants of your region and look at what the
indigenous cultures were using for food, you will most likely find that they
relied on a core group of a few dozen edible plants. For beginning foragers, I
recommend starting with five edible plants from your area that can be incorporated into your daily salads and diet.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

ASG_1409_PLANTS 7/18/14 3:44 AM Page 89

PHOTO BY THINKSTOCK

IN THE KNOW
Knowledge of edible plants can
help add to your daily menu in a
backcountry outing or an extended
grid-down situation in which the
grocery shelves are empty. Wild
plants can be used to supplement
your home pantry and should not be
viewed as a means of staving off
hunger or surviving long-term. None
of our ancestors was vegetarian. I
mention this because there is a misconception in the survival field that
foraging in the wilds is akin to pushing a shopping cart down the produce aisle of the grocery store. Protein and fat from small and big
game, fish, and nuts or acorns are
what is required to live off the land.
Edible plants will provide the daily
dose of vitamins and spice up any
meal, but they are supplements, so
make sure you plan accordingly.

BE 110 PERCENT POSITIVE


YOU KNOW WHAT YOU ARE
PICKING AND PUTTING
IN YOUR MOUTH.

[COUNTERCLOCKWISE, FROM TOP] Cattails are an excellent wild plant to add into daily salads and campfire
meals. The leaves can also be used for shelter material and bedding, and they are found in water,
which presents fishing opportunities as well. Yank up a few cattails by weaving your hands down
into the mud and liberating the roots. While I was after the succulent stalk in this photo, you can
also toss the roots on the coals of the fire and roast them up to provide a starchy treat. These roots
were often used as survival food during the lean winter months by native cultures throughout North
America. The white stalk from the roots, up to about six inches, is the edible part on a cattail during the months of May to August. This tastes much like cucumber and can be eaten raw, boiled or
sauteed in oil.

RESEARCH
If you want to delve into what
plants were used by native peoples
in your particular region, then take
some workshops with local foraging
experts, native educators or field
botanists. In my region of the Southwestern U.S., the Hopi Indians
usedout of 150 identified plants in
their regionroughly 29 for food
and 40 for medicine.
And dont think that you must
always venture into the wilderness
to obtain such edibles. I can almost
guarantee that there are plenty of
wild edibles in your backyard and in
cities, near and far.

PROCEED WITH CAUTION

Its easier to tell you what not to eat


instead of what you can. While these
may rule out some edible plants, the
following identifiers will help you
rule out plants that are most likely
poisonous. Avoid anything that
smells like almonds. Do not eat
berries that are white or orange. Do
not eat plants with thorns. Dont use
plants containing beans or plants
with seeds inside a pod. Get rid of it
if the sap is milky or discolored. If it
has shiny leaves, you should avoid it.
If a plant has three leaflets like poison ivy, let it be. Mushrooms are a
bad choice; even if it looks like
something you found in the grocery
store it can still be a deadly look-alike. Stay away from plants with
umbrella-shaped flowers. Finally, if it
tastes bitter or soapy, spit it out.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

SEPTEMBER 2014

Whatever you do when it comes


to harvesting edible wild plants, be
110 percent positive you know what
you are picking and putting in your
mouth. Be dead sure you know your
plant identification skillsor be
dead. Poison hemlock is so deadly

WHAT TO AVOID

that just a taste of the leaf can kill


you. There is no room for error, so
make sure you identify what you are
sending down your gullet.
I am not a fan of the old military
edible plant ID method of putting an
unknown leaf or berry in your
mouth to sample while waiting to
see if it burns or causes convulsions.
Spend time with an experienced forager or botanist and make sure you
know precisely what you are harvesting before you consume it.
Keep in mind that few of us today
live on a diet exclusively of wild
plants. They are high in fiber and too
much at one time will see you sprinting from your tent. Ease yourself into
wild edibles and gradually incorporate them into your diet at home and
on outdoor excursions.
Last, dont collect plants near roadways, highways, or ditches with
runoff. Even if the plants look healthy,
they may be contaminated with
hydrocarbon emissions or pesticides.

89

ASG_1409_PLANTS 7/22/14 12:06 AM Page 90

[CLOCKWISE, FROM TOP LEFT]


The acorn is a true wilderness staple and is a calorie-laden food source
found throughout North
America. I once lived on
nothing but roasted and
raw acorns for five days on
a survival course.
Burdock has broad
leaves and a stout root
that can provide some
excellent carbs. Dig up the
root, wash it off and then
bake like a potato in foil or
over the campfire coals.
Purslane often shows up
in disturbed soil such as
field and backyards. This is
a delicious edible plant,
and I regularly mix it 50/50
with salads.

PLAY NICE

SEPTEMBER 2014

Be a responsible forager and leave


enough for the plants to reseed and
recover. Gather from abundance and
leave abundance, is the saying in the
foraging community, as this will leave
plenty of resources for future outings
and the wildlife in the region.
While there are thousands of
plants to learn about and utilize

90

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

throughout North America, the following represent some of the more


common ones that you are likely to
encounter and represent a core group
on which to build your foundation.

TOP FIVE WILD EDIBLES


AcornsThese are a great source of
protein and you can live on them for
days at a time since they provide

both copious amounts of calories


and fat. The best acorns come from
the white oak family (rounded leaf
tips) and are some of the few acorns
that are low enough in tannic acids
to make them suitable for eating
right off the tree. You can de-shell
them and grind them up for flour,
dried, or roasted on a rock slab.

ASG_1409_PLANTS 7/18/14 3:45 AM Page 91

Burdock (Arctium spp.)An excellent food and one of my favorites


that has sustained me many times on
survival trips. I gather the tubers
with a hefty digging stick in the
spring and summer. You can chew
them raw to extract the juices, but
the best way is to boil them up until
tender and then peel back the outer
rind and eat the soft interior. Burdock tea, also made from the roots,
provides a good energy drink if you
sweeten it with sugar or honey
(unless you like the taste of dirt).
Cattails (Typha spp.)During the
winter months, I collect the roots
(rhizomes) and roast them on the fire
until theyre charred and then peel
back the outer rind and snack on the
starchy interior. This is one of my
favorite foods on survival outings in
the colder months. During the
spring, I gather the young shoots
and eat them raw or I toss them in
with a stew. You can mix the yellow
pollen, available for only a few
weeks in June, with regular flour to

make a protein-rich bread


or pancake mix. Cattails
also provide shelter
and cordage material.

HANDS-ON

ranth, purslane and pine


nuts, then top with
vinaigrette.

For hands-on training,


consider taking a class with
the Foragers Path,
TheForagersPath.com.

Purslane (Portulaca
oleracea)I eat this
almost daily in the summer and pick it right off my
front woodlot. You can mix in
with a regular salad or eat it as is. My
favorite is to mix equal parts of ama-

STUDY TIME
I highly recommend reading the following books for getting starting with
wild foods:
Edible Wild Plants: Eastern/Central
North America, by Peterson Field
Guides
Natures Garden: a Guide to Identifying, Harvesting, and Preparing Edible Wild Plants, by Samuel Thayer
Edible and Medicinal Plants of the
West, by Gregory Tilford

Common Dandelion
(Taraxacum officinale)I add the young
leaves, which are high in
vitamins C and A, to salads. You can also boil and eat
the root. Spring and fall leaves tend
to be less bitter, as are the broader
leaves with fewer indentations. You
can cook or stir fry the leaves or simply combine them with other salad
ingredients.

THE BOTTOM LINE


Again, keep in mind that these are
meant to augment, and not replace,
your diet of wild game or food supplies at home during a long-term
grid-down situation. Its impossible
to be a vegetarian in the wilds so plan
on using these as a place for incorporating wild edibles into your daily
diet to help provide essential vitamins, anti-oxidants and minerals.

SEPTEMBER 2014

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

91

ASG_1409_BG_BLANKETS-CX-92 7/23/14 1:40 AM Page 92

Buyers Guide

PHOTO BY THINKSTOCK

BLANKETS

COVER UP

SEPTEMBER 2014

STARTING AT JUST $.85, YOU


CAN GET AN EMERGENCY BLANKET
THAT COULD SAVE YOUR LIFE

92

IF YOU DONT HAVE an emergency blanket in your bug-out bag,


youre crazy.
If youre ever stranded in the outdoors youll be glad you have
your emergency blanket the metallic surface serves as a way to
keep warm and dry and prevent hypothermia and also acts as locator
beacon for searchers if youre lost. Dont leave home without one.
Check out our picks of the best emergency blankets to include in
your kit, and make sure you get one sooner than later.

| NAME |

| PRICE |

| MATERIALS |

Mylar Emergency Thermal Blanket


Grabber Outdoors Emergency Space Blanket
S.O.L. Survival blanket
Coghlan's Emergency Blanket
MPI All-Weather Emergency Survival Blanket
Stansport Polarshield Emergency Blanket
Ace Camp Gold/Silver Emergency Blanket
Emergency Essentials Emergency Blanket
Grisly Gear Mylar Thermal Sleeping Bag
ER Emergency Ready Thermal Mylar Blanket
Grabber Outdoors All-Weather Blanket
Coghlan's Thermal Blanket

$.85-$69
$3.99
$7
$4.99
$21.99
$19.99
$9.99
$2.95
$11.95
$5.99
$15.47
$17.99

insulated mylar
vacuum-metalized polyethylene
vacuum-metalized polyethylene
aluminized, non-stretch polyester
metal and plastic films
rip-stop polyester
insulated mylar
insulated mylar
metalized laminate
insulated mylar
radar reflective
aluminized polyethylene

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

BODY HEAT
RETENTION
90%
80%
90%
N/A
80%
90%
80%
80%
90%
90%
90%
N/A

| SIZE |
54x84 inches
56x96 inches
60x96 inches
52x82.5 inches
60x84 inches
84x54 inches
55.2x86.4 inches
84x52 inches
84x36 inches
84x52 inches
60x84 inches
50x79 inches

| WATERPROOF |

| RESUABLE |

Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes

Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes

ASG_1409_BG_BLANKETS 7/17/14 4:19 AM Page 93

BLANKETS Buyers
Guide
MYLAR

PHOTO BY THINKSTOCK

1 $.85-$69

S.O.L.

3 $7

1 MYLAR

PRODUCT: Emergency Thermal

OUTDOORS
2 GRABBER

WEBSITE: Amazon.com
PRICE: $.85-$69

PRODUCT: Emergency SPACE Blanket


WEBSITE: GrabberWorld.com
PRICE: $3.99

Specifications:

Specifications:

Light weight
Durable insulation: Mylar material
Retains and reflects 90 percent of
body heat
Reusable, waterproof and windproof
54 x 84 inches

Reflects and retains 80 percent of radiated body heat


Store in car, camper, boat, or gear bag
in case of emergency, or use after
marathons or sporting events
Waterproof and windproof
Weighs 3 ounces

Blankets

GRABBER OUTDOORS

2 $3.49

3 S.O.L.

PRODUCT: Survival Blanket


WEBSITE: SurviveOutdoorsLonger.com
PRICE: $7
Specifications:

Defining Features: Mylar Emergency

Defining Features: Although Mylar


Defining Features: Use the same super-

insulating material developed for the


Apollo Space missions on your next
camping trip. At less than $5, Grabber
Outdoors Emergency Blanket is an
absolute bargain. The OD Green is perfect for hunters, military and police
looking to stay warm and blend in with
their surroundings. The blankets vacuum deposited metal and a polyester
film surface ensures youll stay dry from
the rain and safe from the wind. This
compact blanket is perfect for storing in
the glove compartment of your car and
your emergency kit.

blankets are fine and dandy at keeping


you warm, some of them are prone to
tearing and shredding. If youre looking
for a durable, long-lasting emergency
blanket alternative, try the S.O.L. Survival Blanket. Made of vacuum-metalized polyethylene, this advanced emergency blanket reflects 90 percent of
your body heat to keep you warm when
it matters most. It includes handy
instructions to get the most of your
emergency blanket. Not only is it waterproof, the blankets windproof, too.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

SEPTEMBER 2014

Thermal Blankets should be part of any


emergency kit. The wallet-sized blankets are compact and lightweightperfect for storing in your car or emergency
kit. Made of durable, insulated, Mylar
material, the blankets are guaranteed to
keep you warm on those cold nights
this blanket retains and reflects 90 percent of the bodys heat. Even below 32
degrees Fahrenheit, youll feel warm,
but not overheated.

Opens easily and will not shred if


nicked or punctured, rips and tears
can be repaired
Quiet and wont crinkle in high winds
High-visibility orange exterior makes
it easy for rescuers to find you
Sized to fit 1 to 2 people

93

ASG_1409_BG_BLANKETS 7/17/14 4:19 AM Page 94

Buyers BLANKETS
Guide

MPI OUTDOORS

5 $21.99
STANSPORT

6 $19.99

COGHLANS

4 $4.99
IF ITS GOOD ENOUGH FOR
ASTRONAUTS, ITS GOOD
ENOUGH FOR EVERYONE.

4 COGHLANS

PRODUCT: Emergency Blanket


WEBSITE: Coghlans.com
PRICE: $4.99

5 MPI OUTDOORS

6 STANSPORT

Specifications:

Specifications:

Measures 60 x 84 inches
Weighs 12 ounces
Available colors: red, blue, dark olive

Technology developed in the space


program to provide maximum
warmth with minimum weight
Made from extremely tough polyester
rip-stop material
Retains up to 90 percent of body heat
Bright surface can also be used to
reflect light for miles
Weighs 10 ounces

PRODUCT: All Weather Emergency

Survival Blanket
WEBSITE: OutdoorPros.com
PRICE: $21.99

PRODUCT: Sportsmans Polarshield


Emergency Blanket
WEBSITE: StanSport.com
PRICE: $19.99

Specifications:

A compact, lightweight blanket


Aluminized, non-stretch polyester
Stays flexible in freezing temperatures
Reflects body heat back to body
Wind and waterproof

SEPTEMBER 2014

Defining Features: Coghlans Emer-

94

gency Blanket is your basic no-frills


emergency blanket. At less than $5, its
good buy for casual campers on a limited budget looking to stay warm on
those frigid mid-September nights. This
compact and lightweight emergency
blanket is made from high-quality aluminized, non-stretch polyester. Some
emergency blankets freeze in sub-zero
temperatures; this blanket stays flexible
even in colder weather. It does a good
job of reflecting the heat back to your
body, protecting you from the wind and
the rain.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

Defining Features: If its good enough

for astronauts, its good enough for


everyone. MPI Outdoors All Weather
Blanket is a heavy-duty emergency
blanket made from the same superinsulating materials that were developed for the NASA/Apollo Space missions. Choose from three different colors, including blue, dark olive and red.
This blanket is made from full edge
binding Radar reflective material and is
guaranteed to retain up to 90 percent of
your radiated body heat to help you stay
comfortable and warm.

Defining Features: Stansport Sports-

mans Polarshield Emergency Blanket is


fabricated from super-durable polyester
material. Theres no easier way to ruin
an emergency blanket than tearing it;
this blanket is made of rip-stop material
to help avoiding tearing. The same technology developed for outer space is
used in this super warm emergency
blanket. Use it at the campsite or as an
extra blanket on your bed to stay warm
at night. This long-lasting blanket is
worth its weight in gold; it will pay for
itself in two seasons.

ASG_1409_BG_BLANKETS 7/17/14 4:19 AM Page 95

BLANKETS Buyers
Guide

ACE CAMP

7 $9.99

GRIZZLY GEAR

9 $7.95

EMERGENCY ESSENTIALS

8 $1.75

7 ACE CAMP

PRODUCT: Gold / Silver Emergency

Blanket

WEBSITE: AceCamp.com
PRICE: $9.99

ESSENTIALS
8 EMERGENCY

PRODUCT: Emergency Blanket

(reflective)
WEBSITE: BePrepared.com
PRICE: $1.75

Specifications:

Size: 55.2 x 86.4 inches


Weighs 1.4 ounces
Reflects nearly 80 percent of body
heat
Waterproof and windproof
Remains elastic below freezing
Small enough to fit into shirt pocket
Defining Features: Ace Camp Emer-

PRODUCT: Emergency Survival


Mylar Thermal Sleeping Bag (2 Pack)
WEBSITE: Amazon.com
PRICE: $7.95
Specifications:

Specifications:

Weighs 2.5 ounces


Dimensions: 84 x 55 inches
Lightweight
Waterproof
Defining Features: Emergency Essen-

tials Emergency Blanket is a compact,


lightweight blanket no emergency kit
or bug-out bagshould be without.
Dont let its price tag fool you; this
emergency blanket does an excellent
job keeping you warm, maintaining 80
percent of your body heat. Cover yourself from head to toe or cover your
entire body for maximum warmth. It
gives an all-new meaning to the term
compact; its so small you can even carry
it in your pocket.

Provides compact emergency protection in all weather conditions.


Made of durable insulating Mylar
material designed by NASA for space
exploration
Retains and reflects back 90 percent
of body heat
Perfect for camping trips and sporting
events
Comes with two sleeping bags
Defining Features: Why buy just an

emergency blanket when you can get a


sleeping bag at the same time? At just
under $8, Grizzly Bear Emergency Survival Thermal Sleeping Bag is a two-inone sleeping bag/thermal blanket. This
bag does a top-notch job of retaining
body heat, retaining and reflecting up
to 90 percent of your body heat. Not
only is it waterproof and windproof, you
can even use it as a shelter during a disaster. Its perfect for camping, hiking
and during those frigid nights.
AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

SEPTEMBER 2014

gency Blankets may be priced in the


middle of the pack, but they offer the
same great features as the premium
blankets do. These blankets are ideal for
the outdoors, allowing you to reflect
and retain over 80 percent of your body
heat for maximum warmth. The waterproof material will keep you dry from
the elements. The blanket is lightweight and compact, perfect for storing
in your backpack or the glove compartment of your car.

9 GRIZZLY GEAR

95

ASG_1409_BG_BLANKETS 7/17/14 4:19 AM Page 96

Buyers BLANKETS
Guide
GRABBER OUTDOORS

11 $11.62
WHEN THE SKIES OPEN UP, REST
ASSURED YOULL BE BONE DRY AND
WARM INSIDE YOUR BLANKET.
ER EMERGENCY READY

10 $5.76

COGHLANS

12 $17.99
ER EMERGENCY
READY
PRODUCT: Thermal Mylar Blankets

(Pack of 4)
WEBSITE: Amazon.com
PRICE: $5.76

GRABBER
OUTDOORS
PRODUCT: All Weather Blanket
WEBSITE: GrabberWorld.com
PRICE: $11.62

Specifications:
Specifications:

Specifications:

Provides compact emergency protection in all weather conditions by


reflecting back and retaining 90 percent of a survival victims body heat
Can be used to prevent and counter
hypothermia by reducing heat loss
from a persons body
Can be used to cover injured victims
in order to help reduce shock
Can be used in a hot environment to
provide shade as a shelter barrier
Reusable, waterproof and windproof

SEPTEMBER 2014

Defining Features: Why purchase one

96

emergency blanket, when you can get


fourenough for a familyfor the low
price of $5.76? This blanket isnt just
great for the outdoors; it comes in
handy during natural disasters, including hurricanes and earthquakes. These
blankets are multipurposeuse them as
blankets, cloaks or even tents, its up to
you. This is one of the warmer blankets,
reflecting 90 percent of your body heat
to keep you toasty warm. Its large
enough to fit even the tallest people.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

COGHLANS
PRODUCT: THERMAL Blanket
WEBSITE: Coghlans.com
PRICE: $17.99

Reflects and helps to retain more than


90 percent of radiated body heat
Full wraparound protection for entire
body
Windproof and waterproof
Flexible even in sub-freezing
temperatures
Reinforced grommet holes on all
corners
Defining Features: Grabber Outdoors
All Weather blanket is flexible, lightweight, waterproof and windproof.
What more could you ask for? Its the
definition of a multipurpose blanket. It
works great during the most extremes
of weather. During the winter, turn the
shiny side up to retain body heat. During the summer, turn the shiny side
down to protect yourself from the harmful rays of the sun. When the skies open
up, rest assured youll be bone dry and
warm inside your blanket.

Thermal blanket is made of


reinforced construction of aluminized
polyethylene
Strong, compact, and soil resistant
The blanket retains body heat and
reflects heat back to the body
The corners have reinforced grommets
and the edges are stitched
The all-purpose thermal blanket is
windproof and waterproof
Defining Features: While the first Cogh-

lans thermal blanket we looked as was


no-frills, this is the cream of the crop.
Coghlans Thermal Blanket is manufactured from reinforced aluminized polyethylene. This is one of the best-made
blankets youll ever findthe edges are
hand-stitched to make sure the blanket
lasts for years to come. Not only is the
blanket waterproof and windproof, its
also soil resistanta nice benefit most
blankets dont have. If theres one emergency blanket you dont want to leave
home without, this is it.

ASG_1409_INTRO_URBAN 7/17/14 4:22 AM Page 97

URBAN
IN THIS SECTION

TRANSIT TIPS + CITY RESOURCES + HAM & CB RADIO + MORE

SURVIVAL, CITY STYLE


Critical Advice For When Things Go South
In An Urban Setting
WHEN EVERYTHING hits the fan, many of us would want to bet on what
seems like a sure thing. Living in the city, we would hope many of the trials
of survival wed encounter would involve best-case scenarios filled with the
worlds greatest comforts, right? Public transportation, hordes of people to
pitch in and help out and plentiful amounts of food. But the reality is that
when the grid falls, its the urban areas that will fall into utter chaos, leaving
people stranded without an electricity-driven transportation system and
prompting looters to empty out the shelves of the local groceries.
When it comes to city survival, youll need to be able to communicate if
the grid falls. You have to know exactly what to pack into your urban bugout bag at a moments notice. Turn the pages for some essential facts that
will help you navigate the urban jungle.

SEPTEMBER 2014

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

97

SEPTEMBER 2014

ASG_1409_GEAR 7/17/14 4:28 AM Page 98

98

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

ASG_1409_GEAR 7/17/14 4:28 AM Page 99

URBAN

TRANSIT

TIPS
DONT GET CAUGHT UNPREPARED
WHILE YOURE TRAVELING
TEXT AND PHOTOS BY TONY NESTER

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

SEPTEMBER 2014

PHOTO BY THINKSTOCK

AVE YOU THOUGHT ABOUT BEING PREPARED


FOR A DISASTER WHEN YOURE TRAVELING?
MY GUESS? NO.
You may have well-thought out plans for handling a grid-down crisis at home or evacuating
your city during an urban disaster, complete with bug-out
gear, a well-stocked vehicle and contingency plans if the
routes are congested.
However, when you fly and there are restrictions on the gear
you have available, you are thrust into an unfamiliar world where
the location of medical resources, water, power supply capabilities and major highways are vague or unknown altogether.
I travel a great deal in my work as a survival instructor. For
much of my work, I can easily pack up my truck and have
enough gear to take care of my needs on the road for a week.
But when I fly throughout the U.S. or abroad, all of that
changes and I need to modify my bug-out bag drastically to
comply with various federal and international restrictions.
Having a few critical items and plans in place prior to
boarding a plane or heading to another state can provide you
with peace of mind and enable you to handle a crisis away
from home.

99

ASG_1409_GEAR 7/17/14 4:28 AM Page 100

TRANSIT

TIPS

IF A DISASTER HAPPENS WHILE YOURE TRAVELING,


THERE ARE NO GUARANTEES THAT YOU WILL BE IN AN
AREA WITH AMPLE RESOURCES.
THREE SCENARIOS
If a disaster happens while youre traveling, there are no guarantees you will be in an
area with ample resources such as food, water
and basic medical supplies. This is where a tailored bug-out bag for travel comes in. It will
at least give you a jump on handling simple
survival priorities in a city riddled by physical
breakdown of critical services.

A carry-on kit can


be stowed in your
pockets or daypack. Include items
like gloves, water
purification tablets,
energy gel, firstaid kit, flashlight,
N95 mask, duct
tape, Wet Wipes,
heatsheet reflective blanket and an
Ankers portable
powerpack.

1. Plane, Train, Bus or Terminal


Its doubtful you will be thrust into a plane
ride and survival ordeal, but its happened
before that mechanical failure, inclement
weather or a regional disaster grounds transportation for days. That leaves you stuck at
the terminal with little more than your carryon. If you travel enough, you will experience
such an event and it will forever shape your
future travel gear. Having a small bug-out kit
can make a huge difference in your ability to
adapt to a difficult setting.

2. At a Hotel
A good friend of mine was stuck at a hotel
in the U.K. near the airport for days after the
volcanic eruption in Iceland shut down air
traffic and stranded thousands of travelers.
He said that while food and water werent an
issue, the prices rose overnight on all consumables, jumping sky high for food as some
hotels began gouging flyers. Many people
began living off of vending machines or bartering food supplies with other travelers.
Your hotel will become your bug-in setting
during a disaster. You can easily travel with
no-cook foods, water and sanitation supplies
that wont cost much but can give you an
edge during a crisis.
3. On the Road
Youve left the hotel for a few hours and
are at a business meeting or visiting another
section of the city when disaster strikes. Your
car and its well-planned contents becomes a
rolling survival kit if you are cut off from your
hotel. Again, a few key items stowed in your
rental car will provide another layer of selfreliance. Make sure your bug-out bag goes
with you on all car trips.

PRE-TRIP TIPS
From years of being a wilderness guide, I
am in the habit of identifying the location of
the nearest hospital or walk-in clinic in relation to my lodging when I travel. I also look
over the egress routes out of the city and

THE GOODS

SEPTEMBER 2014

I like having a small U.S. Palm or 5.11 daypack with me on


trips. These are built for rough use and are in the 2,500- to
3,000-cubic-inch range, allowing me to store them snugly
under my seat. In this daypack, I carry my laptop, shemagh,
rain jacket and extra food and clothes. I keep these items apart
from the small bug-out bag I carry, which consists of an Eagle
Creek Guide Trek Shoulder Bag and which I keep within reach
at the top of my pack. When I am out and about in the city or
any time I am away from my hotel, its with meno exceptions.
In that, I carry Potable Aqua chlorine dioxide water purification tablets, two N95 dust masks, leather gloves, a space
blanket, mini-roll of duct tape, wet wipes, cellphone charger,
universal power adapter, one-person first-aid kit, spare prescription glasses, and three Myoplex meal replacement bars. I
cant carry a knife for obvious reasons, but I do keep one in my
checked luggage, which has never presented a problem.

100

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

ASG_1409_GEAR 7/17/14 4:28 AM Page 101

make note of the secondary


highways. I do this with handheld maps and plot it out on a
GPS ahead of time.
I also like to orient myself
using Google Earth, so I know
the placement of the hotel and
hospital in relation to the airport, hotel and the general area
I am planning to visit. I often do
this while waiting in the airport
terminal prior to boarding. For
international travel, I will mark
the location and address of the
embassy or consulate as well.
You should transfer any of
the contingency thinking and
psychological preparation you
already have in place for bugging out of your own home to
the city or country you are visiting. This takes little time and will
add to your peace of mind when
arriving at your destination.

PORTABLE

POWER

The
Ankers Portable
Powerpack Unit: it
runs around $50 and will
hold up to 300-plus charges
during its lifespan. You can
use it to recharge smartphones and eReaders and
provide partial charges
for laptops and
tablets.

EXTENDED TRIPS
If I am traveling internationally or within
the U.S. for extended periods, I also add in
prescription items. My family doctor knows
that I travel to remote areas to teach survival
courses and has provided these items in case
of a potential medical crisis. This is a conversation you will want to have with your primary care provider if you are headed to a
remote location.
Vicodin comes in handy if you wrench your
back or bust a tibia and are two days from the
nearest clinic. A broad-spectrum antibiotic
can handle most serious gut ailments, travelers diarrhea or infections. Just make sure
theyll treat bacteria common in the part of
the world youre visiting. Keep in mind you
should only pack medicine you have the experience and knowledge to employ safely.

Get three 1-liter bottles to


both stay hydrated and purify
water using the Sodis Method.
Visit www.sodis.ch and see for
yourself how this low-tech
method works using clear plastic
bottles and UV rays. Its an excellent
technique to file away between your ears.
Make sure you buy a small tube of sunscreen; according to the latest research, SPF
30 is all you need.
Dont forget a couple of Bic lighters; one
of anything critical is a weak set-up so I pick
up two and then leave them behind when I
fly home.
You should have three days worth of nocook foods. Purchase some packets of tuna,
jerky or freeze-dried meals. I also add in
bouillon cubes, which are a great additive to
hot water for making a quick broth on cold
days and it helps with replacing lost sodium.
If you are a fan of MREs then, by all means,
bring some along. You want to strive for
roughly 2,000 calories a day. Yes, you can live
on survival rations averaging 1,000 calories a
day, as the packages indicate, but thats a
road to mental anarchy. Survival is hard
enough, so dont skimp on quality food when
you assemble a bug-out bag.

POST ARRIVAL
TRAVEL SAFE
Maybe there isnt really such a thing as
safe travel any more, but if youre prepared
and you pack the right things, you can surely
get an edge on surviving any serious disasters that happen during transit.
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.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

SEPTEMBER 2014

When you disembark a plane or train, you


already have a bug-out kit that will take care
of a portion of your survival priorities. You
need to make a quick stop at a big-box or
grocery store to cover the rest of your needs.
Depending on the length of your trip, time of
year and geographic location, you may want
to flesh this list out far more than what I have
here but this is a place to start for augmenting your existing gear.

Two portable power


packs to consider are
either the Joos Solar
Power Charger or the
Goal Zero Switch 8.
These are compact
devices that can be
carried in your luggage and used to
recharge your smartphone or provide a
partial charge to a
tablet. I have used
both of these products
extensively on long
road trips in remote
regions and have
found them to be reliable. They work best
when pre-charged the
night before departing. If you go with the
Goal Zero product
make sure to get the
solar panel, which is
sold separately. The
Joos product has an
integrated solar panel
and it can also be
charged via a computers USB, as can the
Switch 8.
Recently, I have
had great success
using the Ankers
Rechargeable Power
Pack for keeping my
smartphones charged
when on the run during long workdays
abroad. These come in
several different output ranges and are
extremely compact.
Many friends who are
travelers have also recommended the
Mophie portable
power pack devices,
which are sold at Verizon stores.

101

ASG_1409_CITY 7/23/14 7:25 AM Page 102

URBAN

RESOURCE
REVIEW
KNOW WHEN TO TRUST YOUR CITY
RESOURCESAND WHEN TO TAKE
MATTERS INTO YOUR OWN HANDS
BY GARRETT KIM

102

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

ASG_1409_CITY 7/23/14 7:26 AM Page 103

VERYDAY CITY LIFE IS STRESSFUL ENOUGH, BUT WITH AN


INCREASING RISK OF CONTAMINANTS IN THE AIR AND WATER,
IS IT REALLY SAFE TO TRUST THE CITYS RESOURCES?
This is the decision youll need to weigh the next time you rely on
the water from your sink or the air pumping through your vents. Use
the following information to help you make a decision about when to trust the
towns public utilities, and when to take matters into your own hands.

BEWARE BACTERIA
The next time you fill your water
glass and prepare to hydrate yourself, keep in mind that the clear
water might have invisible contaminants running throughout it. What is
in your water will depend on the
waters source.
The most commonly found contaminant in untreated residential well
water is bacteria, says Don Lilley,
president and CEO of EWaterTest.com.
We routinely find that about
three to four out of ten residential
wells have bacteria present.
The bacteria is generally systemic
in nature, Lilley adds, which enters
the system through a breach, as
opposed to the actual water source
(water aquifer) being contaminated,
although sometimes the aquifer itself

is contaminated by surface water


intrusion.
The most commonly found contaminants in public water systems are
several volatile organic compounds
(VOCs), says Lilley.
These are generally referred to
as trihalomethanes or total trihalomethanes. Trihalomethanes are a
group of chemicals consisting of four
different organic compounds (Chloroform, bromoform, bromodichloromethane, dibromochloromethane), Lilley says.
These compounds are created
when chlorine-based disinfection
materials come into contact with
microscopic organic matter found in
the distribution systems of most
public water supplies.
Take heart, however. You can get
rid of these contaminants on your own.

INDOOR HOME ENVIRONMENTS HAVE NO GOVERNMENT


REGULATED LEVELSWORKPLACE ENVIRONMENTS DO.

Whereas the EPA regulates tap water, the Food


and Drug Administration
oversees bottled water,
since its a commodity
sold to the public. A
report by the Natural
Resources Defense Council (NRDC) found that 22
percent of the bottled
water the NRDC tested
included chemical conta-

minants that exceeded


state health limits, meaning the bottled water
would not have passed
the testing that public
water undergoes. However, the NRDC also
found that 25 percent or
more of bottled water is
actually just tap water
that the companies bottled independently, then

sold at an extreme
markup.
You should always
check the labels of the
bottled water youre giving to your family, and
you might consider testing the brands you buy
most often to ensure its
just as safe (or more so)
as your tap water.
Source: NRDC.org

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

SEPTEMBER 2014

PHOTO BY THINKSTOCK

IS BOTTLED WATER SAFE?

103

ASG_1409_CITY 7/23/14 7:26 AM Page 104

RESOURCE
REVIEW
They can be filtered out at the
POE (point of entry) to a residential
dwelling by using any of the many
household filtering systems available,
like Brita or Pur carbon filters, for
instance, Lilley says.

PHOTOS BY THINKSTOCK

KEEP WATER FRESH

RUN YOUR OWN TESTS


Whether you have your own well
or youre drinking water from the
citys reservoir, you should invest in a
water test kit.
The benefits of testing either a
private system and/or public water
supply are the same, says Lilley.
Knowledge of the basic water
make-up and the ability to determine
if any treatment is necessary to protect the health of its users. Its just a
matter of who is actually responsible
to perform the testing. Obviously,
the private well owner would be
responsible for his own testing, as
compared to a public system that is
tested by the local water company
and/or the municipal authority.
If the municipal entity does find
issues with your water, they are legally
required to alert you, Lilley says.

CHANGE IS GOOD
Not only do the filters in your homes
air vents remove contaminants and
allergens, but they help the air flow
properly by ensuring your vents
arent filled with dust. Change them
quarterly to ensure you arent
breathing any dangerous particles.

SEPTEMBER 2014
104

After passage of the Safe Drinking Water Act in 1974 (and subsequent later amendments) by Congress, it became mandatory for all
public water systems to do at least
two things: One was to do routine
testing and the second was to notify
customers of the results.
Part of that notification process
includes publishing a yearly report,
generally called the Annual Drinking
Water Report, which will notify customers of the testing results and any
violations that may have occurred
during the year. If serious violations
take place that cannot wait for an
annual report, then customers are
notified by various news media outlets, mail, or telephone, Lilley says.

IN THE AIR
When it comes to testing the air
you breathe, you should know
exactly what youre pulling into your
lungs, since not everything traveling
through your vents is safe.
The most common contaminants found in the air of
homes are volatile organic
compounds, according to
Simon Hahessy, scientific
director at AirMD.com.
VOCs can have long and
short-term health effects,
and include vapors from
paint, lacquer, cleaning
supplies, and other dangerous chemicals. While home
test kits can be useful for
determining your air qualPHOTO BY THINKSTOCK

Its important
to change your
air filters frequently so they
can continue to
get bacteria
out of the
air that you
breathe.

[ABOVE, TOP] Water testing kits can help you


determine how many contaminants are in
your drinking source.
[ABOVE, BOTTOM] Water filtering pitchers can
remove contaminants that are often picked
up as city water moves through your pipes.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

Whether youve got a water filter right


on your faucet, in a pitcher, or on your
refrigerators water and ice dispenser,
it wont last forever. Filters can only
remove contaminants if theyre fresh,
so be sure to change yours as often as
the manufacturer advises.

ity, they arent yet as evolved as


water testing kits have become.
Home test kits vary greatly with
the majority using poor science, producing limited information, Hahessy
tells American Survival Guide.
Also, home test kits are usually
less sensitive to the tests completed
by consultants. It all depends on the
test kit purchased.
Getting the testing is of vital importance, however, since the government
is not as vigilant about testing your
homes air as it is about the water.
Indoor home environments have
no government-regulated levels;
workplace environments do,
Hahessy says.
The Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA) and other governmental agencies have guideline levels,
but people are responsible for themselves. Outdoors, the government
has standards for particulate levels
PM2.5 and PM10 and they hold
municipalities accountable for the
quality of air.

THE BOTTOM LINE


When all is said and done, you
should take responsibility for ensuring
that the air and water in your home
are safe by testing them yourself.
Why take chances on something so
important to your overall health?

FOR MORE INFORMATION


For more tips from Don Lilley and to find out
how to buy water tests, visit E-WaterTest.com.
To get more information about how AirMD can
test your home for contaminants, visit
AirMd.com.

ASG_1409_COMM-CX-105 7/24/14 12:55 AM Page 105

PHOTO COURTESY OF WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

URBAN

RADIO
ACTIVE
P

BY GARRETT KIM

HAM VERSUS CB

If the grid is disabled, agencies like 911, fire,


police and other first responders may no longer
be in operation. In a dire situation like this, how
will you communicate with your loved ones?
With CB and ham being your main options, you
should evaluate the pros and cons of each.
When comparing CB radio versus ham
radio, ham radio wins in every situation, Butler
says.
Ham radio is not plug and playit is a
very technical hobbybut dont let that scare
you away.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

SEPTEMBER 2014

ICTURE THIS: A DISASTER STRIKES


YOUR CITY, TEARING DOWN THE
ENTIRE INFRASTRUCTURE THAT
ALLOWS YOU TO COMMUNICATE
WITH YOUR LOVED ONES.
No phone, no email, no texting. Would you
be able to stay in touch with your family and
friends in a situation like this?
Most people wont have that abilitybut
you can, if you learn a few simple tips. Check
out the following advice from Don Butler, publisher of HamUniverse.com, to get a handle on
how youll communicate if the grid falls.

CHOOSE WHICH TYPE OF


RADIO YOU NEED TO KEEP IN
CONTACT IF THE GRID FALLS

105

ASG_1409_COMM 7/21/14 3:51 AM Page 106

POWER A
HAM RADIO?

106

BACKUP
If you have a large ham radio,
external antenna and battery or other
power source, you can talk to people
around the world for hours, days, even
weeks, depending on how you design
your station.
Hams have a saying, when all
else fails, ham radio works, Butler
says.
In a true, life-saving emergency,
any form of radio communications
equipment can be used by anyone at
any time on any frequency, he adds.
It must be a true life-and-death situation though and they must have a
basic understanding of how to operate
the radio.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

PHOTO BY THINKSTOCK

the average CBer, use the


aluminum gutters on your
home as an antenna that
will be effective? Most hams
can. We have the technical
training, equipment and
experience to get a radio
station going out in the
middle of nowhere.
In addition, CBs often
have people talking over
one another, making it difficult to hear what any given
person is trying to say. But
by using a battery-powered
ham radio walkie talkie, you
can enjoy a range of 100 miles or
more and even relay your signals off
of orbiting ham radio satellites
depending on the technology used,
Butler says.

Once you start communicating on the airwaves,


youll find dozens of other users who can find
you on your frequency.

Because standard CB frequencies


are limited to 40 channels on the 11
meter band and the average legal
CB transceiver sold is limited to 4
watts of output to an antenna by
FCC regulations, they are inherently
very short range devices and subject
to interference from local and distant
noise sources, Butler says.
Most people using a CB radio do
not know that there are FCC rules
that must be followed, Butler says.
When the grid goes down, there
will most likely be chaos on the CB
band due to lack of any effective
communications technique, training
or background in communications
effectiveness.
Ham radio, however, is different.
As far as the rules and regulations are considered, they are 1,000
times or more stringent and specific
than CB, Butler says.
Ham radio is an ordered and
structured communications method
when communicating either locally or
around the world in normal times.
Therefore, during emergencies,
ham radio operation is much more
efficient in transferring information
and the technology available to hams
is far beyond CB, Butler says.
Hams have the knowledge to set
up an effective station under some
of the most extreme situations you
can think of, he says.
Could you make a set of old bed
springs into an antenna? Can you, as

LICENSING
Before you get ramped up on
ham radio use, you have to earn a
license from the FCC, which is
required unless youre using the
radio in a life-saving emergency situation. You cant simply buy a license
or take an online test to get one,
Butler says.
To get the license requires
study and knowledge of certain
rules, regulations, radio theory, operating procedures and some basic
electronics and other things related
to using the ham bands, Butler says.
In addition, you must pass a written
exam and be issued a call sign by the
FCC, much like your local AM/FM
radio and TV stations.
The license is actually free, but
you must first pass the exam and pay
the examiners a small fee for administering the test, typically in the $15
range, Butler reports.
There are three stages or license
classes, Butler says. The first ham
license you earn gets you to the door
of ham radio, much like a learners
permit, the other two stages get you
inside the door where you have
many more privileges and opportunities as you advance.
You dont need to know Morse
code to get a ham license, although
some ham users do practice it.

PHOTOS BY THINKSTOCK

SEPTEMBER 2014

If the grid falls, you havent just lost


the ability to use the phoneyouve
also lost your electricity in most cases.
But you can still use a ham radio without power if you know a few simple
tricks, Butler says.
Although batteries will work, keep
in mind that batteries eventually die.
To get your station back on the
air, you must have a means to either
recharge them or have backups
already charged, Butler advises.
Having a dead backup battery
without a method of recharging
means you have a dead ham station
unless you have another source to
charge the batteries or power your station. Most prudent ham radio operators have backups for the backup and
backups for backups.
Hams have the ability and training gained over the years to use any
source that will produce the required
electricity to operate a ham station,
whether it is a simple station or more
powerful one, he says.
The sources that can be used to
charge batteries such as solar, wind,
water, oil, petroleum, gasoline, etc.,
are used on a routine basis by many
hams. Solar power is used by a lot by
hams living out in remote desert
areas. It can also be noted that most of
the modern day ham radios use standard DC power, like that coming from
a car battery.

ASG_1409_COMM 7/21/14 3:51 AM Page 107

IT WORKS FOR NASA


When NASAs onboard communication systems fail, the agency uses ham radio as a
backup way to talk to one another, Butler says.
Most of the NASA space station crew are licensed hams, he says. They enjoy their
off time orbiting the earth talking on the on-board ham station installed in the ISS to
hams back on the earth. They even transmit pictures that the public without a ham license
never sees.

Licensed hams can transmit


voice, Morse code, data (texting)
using computers connected to their
ham equipment, still pictures, and
live TV in color, says Butler.
We use less power than it takes
to operate most night lights to communicate hundreds or thousands of
miles across the Earth even though
we are authorized up to 1,500 watts.

COMMUNICATE
Knowledge of
Morse code is not
required to use a
ham radio, although
many enthusiasts
still know it and use
it.

WHEN COMPARING CB RADIO VERSUS HAM RADIO,


HAM RADIO WINS IN EVERY SITUATION.

Depending on the
antenna you use,
you can transmit a
signal with a ham
radio further than
many other radio
devices.

Ham radio users may refer to


their expertise as a hobby,
but the reality is that even the
federal government refers to it
as a service.
Hams are people from all
walks of life, Butler says.
You dont have to be an
electronics whiz kid or have a
Ph.D. to enjoy ham radio; we
even have licensed hams
younger than eight years old.
[We hope we] wont have a
national or even local emergency that shuts down the
grid, but if we do, ham radio
will be there.

FOR MORE INFORMATION


For more information about ham radio use,
as well as tips on how to ensure that you successfully learn everything you need to know
about this communication method, visit
HamUniverse.com.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

SEPTEMBER 2014

PHOTOS BY THINKSTOCK

MORE THAN
A HOBBY

Once you get your license, its


time to find other people who can
communicate with you over the ham
airwaves, which shouldnt be difficult
based on the ever-growing network
of users.
In the U.S. right now, there are
about 700,000-plus licensed hams
who monitor the many frequencies
and ham bands that we are authorized to transmit, Butler says.
We simply pick a frequency with our
transceiver (transmitter/receiver),
make a random transmission using
our call sign calling for anyone listening on a non-busy frequency, and
hopefully some other ham listening
on that frequency will hear us and
call us using our call sign and his so
we can identify him, and we then
carry on our communication.
Ham radio users arent restricted
to the U.S.
There are ham radio stations
around the world and about three
million licensed hams worldwide in
other countries, Butler says.
Many commercial airlines have
communications equipment that can
operate on the ham bands and many
pilots are licensed hams also. In
addition, storm spotters trained by
the National Weather Service report
weather conditions via ham radio,
often with life-saving information
that radar cannot detect.

107

ASG_1409_NITRO 7/23/14 7:27 AM Page 108

URBAN

SUPPLY
CENTRAL

NITRO-PAK CAN PROVIDE THE GOODS


TO HELP YOU WEATHER THE STORM

PHOTO COURTESY OF NITRO-PAK

BY MICHAEL DANGONA

ISASTER CAN STRIKE WITHOUT WARNING; THATS A FACT.


When you are caught off guard and unprepared, serious lifechanging scenarios can become deadly. Those who have planned
ahead, however, will have a significant edge over those that
ignored the writing on the wall. This edge could mean the difference between life and death when food starts to run scarce, clean drinkable
water becomes hard to find and daily necessary supplies have vanished.

SEPTEMBER 2014

NOW, NOT LATER

108

Dont wait for an emergency to happen before you prepare. More often than not, people act after the fact
instead of being proactive. The mentality of locking the
barn door after the horse has escaped can cause loss of life
to you or a loved family member when the unknown hits.
You can give yourself and your family a fighting chance
when faced with doom and gloom. Lucky for you, there is a
preparedness center where you can stock up on just about
every item you could possibly need. The company is called
Nitro-pak, Inc. and it can help you gather everything you
require to not only feed your family, provide shelter, and
keep warm by a fire, but to also lay the foundation for longterm survival when you have to hunker down and attempt to
outlast whatever situation comes your way.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

ASG_1409_NITRO 7/23/14 7:27 AM Page 109

BIG FOUR
Where do you start? Every journey begins
with the first step, and your first step should
be to gather these essentials.

Executive Bug-Out BagThis could very


well be your most essential survival item.
Contained within this backpack is everything
you will need to survive the first 72 hours of
any catastrophe. All the basics are covered,
including food, water, shelter, first-aid, heat,
sanitation and communication. Weighing in at
just less than 20 pounds, anyone can easily
carry this bag. Its full of necessities yet is
compact enough to fit in your car, truck, boat
or closet with ease. Once danger strikes,
gather your family, grab these bags and get
out of harms way.

Knucklemender First Aid KitThis firstaid kit provides the perfect balance
between providing an extensive variety of
needed supplies and ensuring its small
enough to fit in your bug-out bag, glove box
or supply bag. It contains everything you
Easy Meal Security-Pak Food Reserve
need if and when more minor injuries occur
Hunger can hit fast and hard after a disaswhen youre on the move and professional
ter strikes. Grocery stores could be wiped
medical attention is not an option. From antiout and you could find yourself far away from
biotic cream to bandages, to insect bite relief
your kitchens pantry. This Easy Meal Security
to stomach and pain relief tablets, youre
Pack can feed one person for 45 days or a
covered. First-aid items are taken for
family of three for 15 days, providing
granted during peaceful times,
a full 1,740 calories per person.
yet they become much sought
All the entrees, vegetables
after whenever disaster
and eggs are freeze-dried
DID YOU KNOW?
strikes. Be prepared and
and pre-cooked, which
be ready with this fully
makes preparation a
Nitro-Pak fully tests each and every
equipped kit.
breeze. Just add hot
item for taste, quality and durability. It is
water (cold water works
the only wholesale dealer that carries the
in a pinch) and in less
MORE IS BETTER
four leading long-term food storage comthan 10 minutes you and
Aside from these Big
panies lines: Mountain House, Backyour family will be eating a
4 survival necessities,
packers Pantry, Alpine Aire Gourmet
nutritious meal no matter
there are plenty of other
Reserves and Rocky Mountain
what situation you may find
emergency items you may
Food Reserves.
yourself in.
want to include to personalize
your supplies depending upon
your own particular needs. Living
Nitro-Pak Tactical Surgical and
nearby a lake or an ocean, up in the mounSuture KitBefore, during and after a
tains, or in the dry heat of the desert, your
disaster, danger and chance of injury is nearly
needs will vary due to your own local environeverywhere. Twisted pieces of metal, fallen
ment. Decide what you and your family need
trees, broken piping; all these things can proand start stockpiling now. Be prepared,
duce nasty cuts and gashes, and without
worry less and enjoy life more.
medical attention these injuries can become

2
PHOTO COURTESY OF NITRO-PAK

life threatening. Without professionals available during an emergency situation, you can
take action into your own hands with the Tactical Surgical & Suture Kit. All sutures and
components in the kit are fresh-dated, hospital-grade items. A sampling of its contents
includes a scalpel handle and scalpel blades,
needle holder hemostat, surgical probe,
operating scissors, suture lip scissors,
pointed forceps, wound closure strips, antiseptic wipes alcohol pads and much more.
The kits tri-fold case packs away and stores
with ease.

ALL
ABOUT
TIMING
Harry Weyandt and his
wife, Vickie, have perfect timing. With all the
unrest in our country
not to mention the
threats of natural disasterpeople are becoming more aware of preparedness and looking
to get themselves ready
for whatever comes.
The Weyandts
began their business in
an empty bedroom of
their home and quickly
needed to move to a
bigger space due to
brisk business. Within
18 months of moving,
they had to move a few
times to accommodate
business, finally landing in their current
44,000-square-foot
Utah location.
Weyandt has been
featured on CNN and
numerous radio and
television shows, talking about what we all
agree on: the necessity
of prepping.

FOR MORE
INFORMATION

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

SEPTEMBER 2014

Online: Nitro-Pak.com
Phone: (800) 866-4876.

109

GLOVES

HANDSDOWN
WINNERS

SEPTEMBER 2014

CHOOSE FROM AN ARRAY OF


TACTICAL GLOVES THAT WILL
SERVE YOU WELL IN THE GREAT
OUTDOORS

110

ITS A GIVEN that if youre in a bug-out


situation, youll eventually have to hunt
for small game. And there is always the
possibility of having to defend yourself
against wannabe raiders, so chances are
if youre serious prepper, you will own a
gun and/or a bow.
Whether youre a skilled marksman
or a casual shooter, youll want to invest
in some decent shooting gloves. In addition to enhancing your firing abilities,
they will also come in mighty handy in a
wide range of other activities, like keeping your hands protected.
Here is our pick of the best shooting
gloves to bring on your next hunting
excursion in the great outdoors.

Buyers Guide

ASG_1409_BG_GLOVES 7/17/14 4:48 AM Page 110

PHOTO BY THINKSTOCK

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

ASG_1409_BG_GLOVES 7/17/14 4:48 AM Page 111

GLOVES Buyers
Guide
MAJOR SURPLUS & SURVIVAL

2 $19.95

5.11 TACTICAL

VOODOO TACTICAL

1 $27.99

1 5.11 TACTICAL

PRODUCT: Station Grip Gloves


WEBSITE: 511Tactical.com
PRICE: $27.99
Specifications:

Rough and rugged chore gloves


Combines flash-and-slash protection
with superior dexterity
Four-way stretch back panel
Elasticized wrist keeps out moisture
and debris
Padded knuckle protection
Reinforced palm and fingers
Defining Features: If youre looking

SURPLUS
SURVIVAL
2&MAJOR
PRODUCT: Black Widow Mechanics

VOODOO
3TACTICAL

PRODUCT: The Edge Shooters

Gloves

Gloves

WEBSITE: MajorSurplus.com
PRICE: $19.95

WEBSITE: VoodooTactical.com
PRICE: $19.99

Specifications:

Specifications:

Hook-n-loop wrist tab


One size fits most
Weight: .19 pounds

Leather
Tight wrist offers optimum shooting
dexterity
Added leather tab assists in pull on
Slightly padded palm area for added
gripping power and comfort

Defining Features: When it comes to

shooting gloves, you shouldnt have to


sacrifice quality for comfort. Black
Widow gloves are fabricated from
high-performance material with the
highest attention to detail to provide
the very best in comfort, style and
function. These gloves feature a convenient hook-n-loop wrist tab for simple
entry and fit snuggly around your
hands. Finger side-vent holes provide
the utmost in breathability on those
hot, humid days. Theyre machinewashable and they wont shrink or
harden in the wash.

Defining Features: Voodoo Tacticals

The Edge Shooters Gloves are made


to last. Fabricated from high-quality
leather, these gloves dont just look
good, they perform well, too. You
dont need to sacrifice look for functionality; these gloves feature tight
wrists for the utmost in shooting dexterity so you always hit your target.
These gloves fit like a gloveliterally;
added leather tabs make putting on
them on a breeze. The palms are ever
so slightly padded to add muchneeded gripping power and comfort.
AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

SEPTEMBER 2014

for top-notch gloves for shooting, look


no further than 5.11 Station Grip
Gloves. 5.11 Station Grip Gloves are
your gloves of choice for rifle shooting
(although theyre a little on the bulky
side for pistols). These gloves are especially handy if you enjoy shooting in
sub-zero temperatures, as theyll keep
your hands warm as toast. Heavy-duty
leather reinforcements at the palm
and fingers ensure these gloves will
last for the years to come.

3 $19.99

111

ASG_1409_BG_GLOVES 7/17/14 4:48 AM Page 112

Buyers GLOVES
Guide

4 HATCH

PRODUCT: Specialist All-Weather

Shooting Gloves
WEBSITE: Hatch-Corp.com
PRICE: $9-$48.25

RAPDOM
5 MECHANIX WEAR 6TACTICAL
PRODUCT: Original Glove, Covert
WEBSITE: Mechanix.com
PRICE: $24.95
Specifications:

Specifications:

Neoprene
Synthetic leather Synsi-feel palms
Toughtek non-slip material on fingertips (except index) and palm
strategically placed for handgun use
Neoprene back
Velcro closure ensures a snug fit

Available in nine cool colors and


sizes to fit most hands
Lycra panels between fingers for
added comfort and mobility
Dual-layered finger tips for increased
protection and reduced wear
Ultra-thin TPR strap with hook and
loop closure provides comfort and
adjustability

Defining Features: The Specialist


Neoprene Gloves are popular shooting gloves with shooting enthusiasts
for good reason. These gloves work
great with larger guns or handguns.
Theyll give you a firm grip when you
need it most, when youre drawing
your gun out of its holster. Load clips
with ease without the annoyance of
removing your gloves. All-weather
means theyre perfect for all climateswhether youre in the desert in
Nebraska or the forest in Wyoming,
your hands will feel comfortable.

Defining Features: If youre looking


for an inexpensive glove good for the
occasional shoot excursion, the MG55-010 should fit the bill. These
gloves offer great dexterityyou can
accomplish all your outdoor tasks
without the inconvenience of removing them. Lag Lycra panels between
fingers ensure the utmost in comfort.
These are all-purpose glovesthey
work in a variety of climates and for a
host of activities.

PRODUCT: All Weather Shooting

Gloves
WEBSITE: RapidDominance.com
PRICE: $15.47-$18
Specifications:

Flexible, 2mm neoprene on the


backside of the glove
Palm made of Sensifil Material
Grip patches are sewn onto the palm
and all finger tips except the index
finger
Hook-n-loop closure for secure fit
Defining Features: Rapdom Tactical

shooting gloves are called all


weather for a good reason. Not only
are these gloves breathable, theyre
waterproof, but without the bulkiness
of similar gloves. The gloves fit snugly,
while leaving your hands enough
room to move. The Sensifil palm and
fingers ensure youre able to easily
grip your firearm when it matters
most. The back of the glove is fabricated from 2 mm of neoprene, giving
you more comfort and protection than
the typical 1.5mm glove.

RAPDOM TACTICAL

$15.47-$18 6

HATCH

SEPTEMBER 2014

4 $9-$48.25

112

MECHANIX WEAR

5 $24.95
AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

ASG_1409_BG_GLOVES 7/17/14 4:48 AM Page 113

GLOVES Buyers
Guide

HATCH

8 $13-$50.81

5.11 TACTICAL

9 $74.99

BLACKHAWK!

7 $25.99-$41.87

7 BLACKHAWK!

8 HATCH

WEBSITE: Blackhawk.com
PRICE: $25.99-$41.87

WEBSITE: Hatch-Corp.com
PRICE: $13-$50.81

PRODUCT: Hard Time Gloves


WEBSITE: 511Tactical.com
PRICE: $74.99

Specifications:

Specifications:

Specifications:

Protection and enhanced grip


Ventilation for warm-weather use
Ergonomic cut
Flexible shell for maximum dexterity

Lightweight, comfortable
Designed for use in SWAT and tactical operations
9-ounce Kevlar interlock fabric construction
Form-fitting design and thin
Durable leather palm provides excellent tactility, dexterity and grip

High-performance, hard-knuckle
gloves
Articulated thermoplastic knuckle
plates
TPR outer laminate
Tactical touch precision fingertips
Seamless goatskin palm

PRODUCT: Mens Hot Ops Venti-

lated Hot Weather Gloves

Defining Features: BLACKHAWK!

Black Hot Ops ventilated hot weather


glove may be made for humid weather,
but they are perfectly fine in colder
weather, as well. They fit tight enough
to let you keep your finger dexterity,
but still have enough space to remain
comfortable. They stretch just enough
for you to open and close your hand
with relative ease. They are designed
ergonomically and made of a perforated neoprene and breathable, 3-D,
mesh back for enhanced breathability.

PRODUCT: SG500 Shooting

Glove

5.11
9 TACTICAL

SNAGGING
CAN BE A
MAJOR PAIN
WHEN IT
COMES TO
GLOVES, BUT
THESE DONT
SNAG AT ALL.

Defining Features: Used by law


Defining Features: SG500 are excel-

enforcement officers and tactical operators, these gloves fit snugly and feature
two hardened thermoplastic plates,
interior padding and a TPR outer laminate. Not only do they keep your hands
warm in colder climates, they breathe
well in hot and humid weather. Snagging can be a major pain when it
comes to gloves, but these dont snag
at all. Dexterity isnt an issue,
eitheryou should have no problem
picking a safety pin off the ground.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

SEPTEMBER 2014

lent multi-purpose shooting gloves.


They work great for a variety of activities
including shooting, mountain biking,
fires, dealing with sharp tools, and
more. They fit snug and do not slip,
thanks to their form-fitting design.
Theyre lightweight and comfortable,
made of very thin leather, perfect for
taking on and off in an instant. They feature durable leather palms to ensure
youll always have a firm grip of your
weapon du jour. Your hands will feel at
ease as you hit your target with ease.

113

ASG_1409_BG_GLOVES 7/17/14 4:48 AM Page 114

Buyers GLOVES
Guide

BOB ALLEN

NEET

PRODUCT: Black Deluxe

PRODUCT: Suede Shooting

PRIMOS
HUNTING CALLS

Shooting Gloves

Glove

WEBSITE: BoytHarness.com
PRICE: $19.49-$38.69

WEBSITE: NeetArcheryProducts.com
PRICE: $8.89-$22.81

PRODUCT: Stretch-Fit Gloves


WEBSITE: Primos.com
PRICE: $12.91

Specifications:

Specifications:

Specifications:

Synthetic leather back


Leather palm
Hook-n-loop wrist closure
Large back ventilation port
Perforated fingers with articulated
knuckles

Hook-n-loop wrist strap


Ambidextrous
Smooth release

Extended cuff
Call pocket on the back of the hand
Wicks moisture away from skin
Can be used as a glove liner

Defining Features: These arent your

Defining Features: If youre looking

for no-frills shooting gloves without


the fancy logo, the Bob Allen Black
Deluxe Shooting Gloves are a great
choice. These gloves are solidly put
together; theyre made of synthetic
yet breathableleather that can withstand all the punishment you can dish
out and then some. Hook-n-loop wrist
closures mean the gloves will stay on;
theres even a sizable back ventilation
port for breathability. These gloves are
highly flexible, the perforated fingers
make gripping your firearm of choice a
breeze.

run-of-the-mill shooting gloves. Neet


suede shooting gloves are made especially for archers who prefer a finger
release instead of a mechanical trigger. These gloves fit tightly, ensuring
youre on target every time. These
gloves roll protection, sensitivity, and
a smooth release, all in one solid
glove. Made to last, theyre fabricated
from soft suede, including smoothgrain leather tips. Hook-n-loop straps
mean the gloves will stay on at the
most crucial of times.

Defining Features: It isnt by accident

Primos called these gloves StretchFit. These lightweight gloves keep


your hands nice and toasty, while still
remaining breathable. Theres no need
to waste time trying on different sizes
one size fits most shooters. These
arent your typical shooting gloves;
they come with long wrists to offer the
utmost in comfort. These gloves are
thin enough so you wont have any
issue fitting your trigger finger on your
favorite weapon and firing.

NEET

11 $8.89-$22.81

PRIMOS HUNTING CALLS

12 $12.91
BOB ALLEN

SEPTEMBER 2014

10 $19.49-$38.69

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ASG_1409_INTRO_STEWARD 7/17/14 4:52 AM Page 115

STEWARDSHIP
IN THIS SECTION

HUNTING ETHICS + LAND STEWARDSHIP + BUILD YOUR SKILLS

REAP WHAT YOU SOW


Take Care Of The Land For Future Generations Survival

SEPTEMBER 2014

PHOTO BY GRAPHICSTOCK.COM

BECOMING ONE with the


planet isnt just for new-age
tie-dying explorers. Anyone
who has ever pursued the survivalist lifestyle is aware of
how intensely important it is
to feel at home in the wilderness, to be a good steward to
the land and to practice highquality ethics when hunting
for dinner. Its not just about
survivingits about ensuring
that the United States itself
survives, as well as the generations behind us as we pursue
our lifestyles.
Enter Larry Schwartz and
Gary Carter, our resident outdoorsman, who created this
special section just for readers
who need a primer on ensuring that we dont overstay our
welcome in the woods. Follow
their lead to determine where
you are within the five stages
of becoming an outdoorsman,
and ensure that your land
stewardship and hunting
ethics stand up to scrutiny.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

115

ASG_1409_ETHICS 7/17/14 5:07 AM Page 116

STEWARDSHIP

A MATTER OF

ETHICS
IN
A BUG-OUT SITUATION, FOOD
IS KEY.
Eventually, when all the food
you brought with you runs out,
youll need to provide your own.
Wild plants are a good source of food, but
protein is a must, and hunting is the way to
obtain it.
Hunting to eat follows the natural order of
things, and hunting ethically separates us from
other animals.

YOU MAY HAVE TO


HUNT TO SURVIVE,
SO PLEASE, DO IT
RESPONSIBLY
BY LARRY SCHWARTZ

North American big game animal in a manner that


does not give the hunter an improper advantage
over such animals.
Fundamental to all hunting is the concept of
natural resources conservation. Hunting in
todays world involves the regulated harvest of
individual animals in a manner that conserves,
protects and perpetuates the hunted population.
The hunter engages in a one-to-one relationship
with the quarry, and his or her hunting should be
guided by a hierarchy of ethics related to hunting,
which includes the following tenets:

THE APEX PREDATOR

THE RULES OF FAIR CHASE


Fair chase, as defined by the Boone and Crockett Club, is the ethical, sportsmanlike and lawful
pursuit and taking of any free-ranging, wild, native

116

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

1_Obey all applicable laws and regulations.


2_Respect the customs of the locale where the
hunting occurs.
3_Exercise a personal code of behavior that
reflects favorably on your abilities and sensibilities as a hunter.
4_Attain and maintain the skills necessary to
make the kill as certain and quick as possible.
5_Behave in a way that will bring no dishonor to
the hunter, the hunted or the environment.
6_Recognize that these tenets are intended to
enhance the hunters experience of the relationship between predator and prey, which is one of
the most fundamental relationships of humans
and their environment.

GET A LICENSE
In the late 1800s and the early 1900s, conservation and wildlife management became an
important concern for the federal government.
National parks were established, the Forest Service came into being and the practice of market
hunting was banned. To ensure that the damage
caused by uncontrolled market hunting would not
happen again, hunters and fishermen were
required to obtain a license. They could pursue
their game only during the established seasons,
and bag limits for each season were established

PHOTO BY THINKSTOCK

By assuming my role as an apex predator, the


predator at the top of the food chain, everything
that I have learned about the outdoors through
the years comes into play in my pursuit of wild
game animals, birds and fish. Marksmanship, survival skills, first-aid techniques, camp craft, land
navigation, tracking and trailing, weather interpretation and forecasting, plant and tree identification and knowing what animals I am hunting all
come together to make me a successful hunter.
As an apex predator, I am also a tool of
wildlife management for the states in which I
hunt. Wildlife management has become a critical
science as the growth of human communities has
reduced three of the key factors in animal habitats: adequate food, adequate cover and the
predators whose purpose is to keep the number
of prey species in the middle of the chain in
check. We must keep the number of both prey
and predator species at the appropriate levels so
that their habitat is not damaged. This is accomplished through habitat restoration and the principles of fair chase, hunting, fishing and trapping.

ASG_1409_ETHICS.CX.117,118 7/22/14 11:44 PM Page 117

HUNTING TO EAT FOLLOWS THE


NATURAL ORDER OF THINGS, AND
HUNTING ETHICALLY SEPARATES US
FROM OTHER ANIMALS.

KEY
TERMS

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

SEPTEMBER 2014

Bag limit: the number of game animals


you can take each day
or during the season.
Carrying capacity:
the number of insects,
birds, fish and animals
that the habitat can
support.
Ethics: the set of
moral and personal
rules that we use to
guide our actions and
decisions.
Food chain: shows
the connections
between the plants
and small animals that
are eaten by progressively larger animals
as they move up the
chain.
Habitat: the combination of water, food,
plants, shelter and
space that provides for
the needs of the
wildlife that lives
there.
Seasons: the times
during the year that a
specific game species
may be hunted; for
example, deer, turkey,
and rabbit season.
Seasons are used to
manage hunting, fishing and also trapping.
Wildlife management: the management and control of
wildlife species and
their habitat to maintain an effective balance between the two.

117

ASG_1409_ETHICS.CX.117,118 7/22/14 11:45 PM Page 118

A MATTER OF

ETHICS
DEVELOP THE SKILLS TO EFFECTIVELY PERFORM AS THE APEX PREDATOR:
LEARN HOW TO USE AND MAINTAIN THE TOOLS OF YOUR TRADE.

Much has been written


about hunting, conservation and how it all fits
together. The following
books will give you a
good foundation for performing your role as the
apex predator.
A Sand County
Almanc, by Aldo
Leopold
Meditations on
Hunting, by Jose
Ortega y Gassett
The Old Man and the
Boy, by Robert Ruark
Beyond Fair Chase,
by Jim Posewitz

The hunter harvests


food from the land
and the air, to feed
himself, his family and
friends. He is also a
key part of the wildlife
management program
for his or her state or
province.

The fisherman or woman takes advantage of the bounty in


the seas and waters while helping to keep natures balance in those same waters.

DO THE RIGHT THING


If you want to take your place as the apex
predator in the food chain, make sure you
take the right steps to do so.
Take the appropriate courses offered by
your state for hunter safety, fishing and trapping to ensure you understand your role in
wildlife management, keep yourself out of
danger and not be a danger to others.
Get the applicable licenses for hunting,
fishing, or trapping that are required in the
state you will be hunting in, or to which youll
be bugging out.
Develop the skills to effectively perform
as the apex predator: learn how to use and
maintain the tools of your trade.
Always conduct yourself afield as a good
steward of the resources that are present so
that others may use them in the future.

CLASSES AND LICENCES

SEPTEMBER 2014

Hunter safety classes, as well as other outdoor safety and skills classes are taught by each state. You can take these
courses in a classroom/lecture environment or you can take them online followed by a one-day field experience,
during which you get the instruction that cannot be delivered online. Both approaches include a shooting component in which you get to familiarize with a rifle or shotgun and show your instructors that you know how to safely
use a firearm in a field environment.
The following URLs will take you to the online version of the courses. Checking the websites of your states
Department of Natural Resources will show you where the in-person classes are held.
Online hunter safety courses are available at Hunter-Ed.com
Online boating safety courses are available at Boat-Ed.com
Online bowhunter education courses are available at BowHunter-Ed.com

118

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

PHOTOS BY THINKSTOCK

Read All
About It

to ensure the correct number of each animal


was taken to keep the various wildlife species
in balance with each other.
Today, to get a hunting license, you need
to take a hunter safety course that will provide you with basic information about wildlife
management, knowledge of outdoor first-aid
as well as outdoor survival techniques and
the fundamental things you need to know to
safely carry a gun so that you are not a danger to yourself or to those with whom you
hunt. Hunter safety courses are offered by
each state and are normally free of charge.
Your license comes from the same department of your state government that provides
the hunter safety training. Fees for residents
of the state are normally less than a hundred
dollars per year, and non-residents pay a bit
more. The license is to hunt in the state that
issues it, not the state you are from, so if you
live in Nebraska and your hunting area or
bug-out location is in Wisconsin, you will
need a Wisconsin hunting license.

ASG_1409_STEWARDSHIP.CX.all 7/22/14 11:46 PM Page 119

STEWARDSHIP

the

PHOTO BY THINKSTOCK

good

earth

Backpacking and camping, wilderness bug-out locations, home-

steading and hobby farming: These are all things that are near and dear to us
as we pursue our long-term preparedness planning.
Often, in pursuit of our goals, we forget we need to take care of the land or
we eventually wont have any left where we can farm or homestead or bug out.
We owe it to ourselves and to the environment to learn more about how
things work out out there and how we should behave in the great outdoors.

BEING A CONSCIENTIOUS
STEWARD OF THE LAND IS
AN IMPORTANT PART OF
SURVIVALISM
BY GARY CARTER

CARRYING CAPACITY

SEPTEMBER 2014

Everything that lives needs food, water, shelter and a space in which to live.
These are the four key elements of any habitat. These elements can only support a finite number of each type of life, plant or animal. These elements are
not static; they can and do change with every year and every season. As elements of the habitat change, such as the amount of food or good cover, the
number of animals the habitat can support will go up or down. This finite
number of animals is called the carrying capacity of the habitat.
The concept of carrying capacity actually applies to all kinds of habitats, not
just in the outdoors; cities and suburbs have their own carrying capacities
based on the amount of housing or open land, food markets, schools, roadways
and public utilities.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

119

ASG_1409_STEWARDSHIP.CX.all 7/22/14 11:46 PM Page 120

the

good

earth

Plan Ahead And Prepare


Know the regulations and special
concerns for the area youll visit.
Prepare for extreme weather,
hazards and emergencies.
Schedule your trip to avoid
times of high use.
Visit in small groups when possible. Consider splitting larger
groups into smaller groups.
Repackage food to minimize
waste.
Use a map and compass to
eliminate the use of marking
paint, rock cairns or flagging.

SEPTEMBER 2014

Travel And Camp On Durable


Surfaces
Durable surfaces include established trails and campsites, rock,
gravel, dry grasses or snow.
Protect riparian areas by camping at least 200 feet from lakes
and streams.
Good campsites are found, not
made. Altering a site is not necessary.
In popular areas: Concentrate
use on existing trails and campsites. Walk single file in the middle of the trail, even when wet or
muddy. Keep campsites small.
Focus activity in areas where
vegetation is absent.
In pristine areas: Disperse use
to prevent the creation of campsites and trails.
Avoid places where impacts are
just beginning.

120

Dispose Of Waste Properly


Pack it in, pack it out. Inspect
your campsite and rest areas for
trash or spilled foods. Pack out
all trash, leftover foodand litter.
Deposit solid human waste in
catholes dug 6 to 8 inches deep,
at least 200 feet from water,
campand trails. Cover and disguise the cathole when finished.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

Pack out toilet paper and


hygiene products.
To wash yourself or your dishes,
carry water 200 feet away from
streams or lakes and use small
amounts of biodegradable soap.
Scatter strained dishwater.
Leave What You Find
Preserve the past: examine, but
do not touchcultural or historic
structures and artifacts.
Leave rocks, plants and other
natural objects as you find them.
Avoid introducing or transporting non-native species.
Do not build structures or dig
trenches.
Minimize Campfire Impacts
Campfires can cause lasting
impacts to the backcountry. Use
a lightweight stove for cooking
and enjoy a candle lantern for
light.
Where fires are permitted, use
established fire rings, fire pans,
or mound fires.
Keep fires small. Only use sticks
from the ground that can be
broken by hand.
Burn all wood and coals to ash,
put out campfires completely,
then scatter cool ashes.
Respect wildlife.
Protect wildlife and your food
by storing rations and trash
securely.
Control pets at all times, or
leave them at home.
Avoid wildlife during sensitive
times: mating, nesting, raising
young, or winter.
Be Considerate Of Other
Visitors
Respect other visitors and protect
the quality of their experience.
Be courteous. Yield to other
users on the trail.
Step to the downhill side of the
trail when encountering pack
stock.
Take breaks and camp away
from trails and other visitors.
Let natures sounds prevail.
Avoid loud voices and noises.

You already know that stores can stock only so much


food at any time and that the power grid can support only
a finite number of electricity users and provide a finite
amount of power.

THE FOOD CHAIN


Everything in nature both eats and is eaten by something else in nature: thats the way the food chain works.
Grasses and other small plants provide food for fish, large
and small animal, and some birds. Bushes and trees provide shelter for animals and birds of all sizes. Prey
species, like insects or rabbits or fish or deer, are eaten by
larger predator species like foxes, wolves, bears, mountain lions and humans. If there isnt enough plant life to
provide food and shelter for the prey species, then all
forms of life will suffer. If there are too many predators,
then the number of prey species will dwindle and everything will suffer. Only when there is the right amount of
life at each level (plants, prey species and predators) will
everything remain in balance and thrive.
Left to itself, nature uses carrying capacity and the
food chain to manage the number of animals in any given
habitat. With the growth of the human population, we
have reduced the available habitat for all forms of life and
removed most of the large predators from the ecosystem.
As a result, we must step in and reduce the amount of
prey species by hunting, fishing and trapping.

The food chain illustrates the interconnection between


plants, the small
animals and insects
that eat the plants
and the larger omnivores and predators
that eat the small
animals. Any excess
or scarcity at one
link in the food
chain will cause
problems with other
links in the food
chain.

PHOTO BY THINKSTOCK

Designed for hikers, campers,


and backpackers, the Leave No
Trace principles below outline
the steps we can each take to
minimize human impact on the
outdoors and its wildlife.

ASG_1409_STEWARDSHIP.CX.all 7/22/14 11:46 PM Page 121

CARRYING
CAPACITY

PHOTO BY THINKSTOCK

GRAPH COURTESY OF KALKOMEY ENTERPRISES, INC.

The finite amount of food, water, and


shelter in any piece of habitat can only
support a finite number of animals; this is
called its carrying capacity. If there are too
many of any kind of animal in the habitat
it will throw off the balance, which will
result in damage at one or more levels in
the food chain.

Off-road vehicles are one of the best innovations for outdoorsman in the past decade, but they are
also the most destructive to habitat when used in an unethical manner. Running across unmarked
sand dunes, grass covered fields, or down wet dirt roads chews up the terrain, causes erosion, scares
away wildlife and destroys plant life and habitat.

LEAVE NO TRACE
A Boy Scouts rule of thumb is to always leave your
campsite looking better than it did when you got
there. Of course, that means not leaving any trash and
packing out any that you found along the way. In the
old days, it also meant digging little trenches around
tents to keep the water from flowing under the sides
during a heavy rain, cooking with wood we cut there
at the campsite and lashing together racks and stands
to add a bit of home to the campsite.
Today, we dont dig trenches because that causes
soil erosion, cooking is done over camp stoves that run
on liquid or compressed gas fuel and we minimize our
cutting and campsite construction activities because
there are so many people using the outdoors now that
those activities would cause a great deal of damage.
There are many things we are now conscious
about that we never thought about before. Its entirely
possible to use the earth in a responsible way; if we
treat it with respect, it will be there for us when we
really need it.

Now that you know how you fit into the big picture, equip yourself with the right skills and mindset
so you can enjoy the outdoors to the utmost. We need
to survive, yes; but we can do it in a way that enables
the natural order of things to survive as well and
secure the future of preppers to come.
Gary Carter is a freelance writer and experienced outdoorsman.

Join the club and get a new T-shirt every month


representing a different group of specialized units
from the U.S. Military, local and federal law
enforcement, and fire departments.

ONLY A MONTH


SEPTEMBER 2014

PHOTO BY THINKSTOCK

NO EXCUSES

;/,;:/09;:6-9,(3
(4,90*(5/,96,:

/LYV;ZOPY[*S\IJVT

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

121

ASG_1409_FIVE.all 7/23/14 7:28 AM Page 122

STEWARDSHIP

SEPTEMBER 2014

EVOLUTION OF AN OUTDOORSMAN:
BUILDING YOUR SKILLS ONE PHASE AT A TIME

122

BY LARRY SCHWARTZ

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

PHOTOS BY THINKSTOCK

GROWTH
CHART

ASG_1409_FIVE.all 7/23/14 7:28 AM Page 123

THE JOURNEY OF AN OUTDOORSMAN CAN AND SHOULD BE


ONE OF CONTINUOUS GROWTH AND IMPROVEMENT.

S SURVIVALISTS, WE ALL NEED TO BECOME SKILLED OUTDOORSPEOPLE, AND THAT DOESNT HAPPEN OVERNIGHT.
There are, in my opinion, five phases of becoming the ultimate outdoorsperson, and each one offers valuable learning
opportunities along the way. Read on to discover which phase
you are in currently and how to step up to the next.

WANDERER PHASE
Weve all been wanderers. Wanderers have some basic outdoor
skills, but the main focus of this
group is to just get out of the city
and into the wild. Their first pocketknife is a major milestone for them
and theyre eager to use what few
pieces of gear they have. As someone new to the outdoors, the wanderer is likely inexperienced and a bit
nave about how to prepare for time
under the sky.

My first lesson as a wanderer was


to prepare for changeable weather
and the importance of taking care of
my equipment. If youre in this
phase, let it be yours as well.

PRACTITIONER PHASE
The practitioner has the basic
skills needed to travel in the outdoors and probably doesnt need
someone more capable around for
safety. You still have much to learn,
because your focus now is on getting
out by yourself and surviving alone.
You know how to select and pack
your own gear and make a fire, and
now you need to learn how to handle

BASIC SKILLS

I remember being an eager 12year-old Tenderfoot in the Boy


Scouts going on my first hike with a
new pair of hiking shoes my parents
had gotten me. Since the weather
forecast was for clear skies all weekend, I hadnt taken the time to give
them a waterproofing with polish
and wax. Cut to rain during the last
four miles of the hike and my unprepared shoes soaking up the water
from the puddles and mud; not a
pretty picture.

first-aid problems and develop some


more basic survival skills including
hunting, fishing, tying knots and lashing, using axes and saws effectively
and finding your way with or without
map and compass.
Great skills for the you to focus
on in this phase include starting a fire
in the rain, setting up a shelter in the
dark or in bad weather, consistently
providing wild fish or game for the
cook pot or campfire spit and finding
the way to that secluded glen on the
mountainside that appears on a map.

THE OUTDOORSMAN PHASE


The outdoorsman possesses the
skills to operate well in the outdoors
and can perform survival skills consistently. This phase involves mastering
the activities you enjoy, like catching
the crafty bass that has eluded you
by hiding in the submerged structure
for the past two years, figuring out
the right cartridge and bullet combination to get your rifle to shoot a 2inch group at 100 yards, or getting
your backpack weight to less than 40
pounds for a three-day trip.
One of the difficult challenges in
my outdoorsman phase was taking a
pheasant on the wing with my bow
and arrow. Hitting a bird it the air

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

SEPTEMBER 2014

PHOTOS BY THINKSTOCK

The wanderer is is new to the game, and


safety is a concern.

As we each move through the phases


of being an outdoorsperson, we accumulate a wide variety of skills and
insights. These include:
Hiking
Fire making
Land navigation
Cooking
Hunting and fishing
Game preparation
First aid
Camping
Outdoor cooking
Sailing, boating, canoeing, and
kayaking
Knots and rope work
Plant identification and use
Tracking and stalking
Wildlife management and conservation

The practitioner knows the basics, can perform them consistently and is safe on his own.

123

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GROWTH
CHART
THE FIVE PHASES OF GROWTH
PHASE
Wanderer
Practitioner
Outdoorsman
Explorer
Guide

The outdoorsman is ready and eager to push


the limits of his skills.

with a shotgun is a challenge in itself,


but doing it with a bow and arrow is
even more challenging. I wasnt the
only person in our group to do it, but
for me it was the highlight of the
hunting season as well as a milestone
in my survival skill development.

CHARACTERISTIC
A neophyte learning as much as you can
Able to be on your own and enjoying it
Going for the gusto and facing the biggest challenges
Seeking, taking on and succeeding at new challenges
Sharing your knowledge and experience with others

decide to move from hunting with


modern equipment and switch to a
flintlock muzzle loading rifle.
You know you are a capable outdoorsman and now you want to test
yourself by trying new and more challenging things. The growth of your
skill set gives you pleasure and it also
leads you to the fifth and final phase.

GUIDE PHASE
The Explorer phase is all about
new methods, new activities and new
challenges. Its a combination of the
previous three phases where you
learned new skills, became proficient
in them and then stretched them to
their limits.
Nows the time to try new things
that you hadnt even considered earlier in your journey. Backpacking and
hiking can morph into ultralight backpacking. Fishing might become fly
fishing or fishing from a float tube.
You may move from the flatlands to
backpacking in the Rockies, or even
start rock climbing. Or, you might

SEPTEMBER 2014

The explorer
has reached the
point where he
is interested in
new challenges
and looks for
different methods or outdoor
sports that will
provide those
challenges.

124

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

As a guide, all of the skills and different perspectives come together.


Your joy of being in the outdoors
isnt based on taking the most birds
on a days outing or climbing the
highest peak, but sharing what you
have learned with those who are still
on their journeys.
Some of my favorite memories
center on helping a neophyte accomplish something for the first time. Its
incredibly rewarding to teach new
hikers how to read a map and use
two compass bearings to find their
way on a long trail; or how to use a

WORK IN
PROGRESS
The journey of an outdoorsman can
and should be one of continuous
growth and improvement. Dont be
satisfied with just knowing the
basicslearn the more detailed skills.
Be able to not just sharpen your knife,
but get a razor edge on it. Dont settle
for buying your fishing flies, learn to
make them yourself. Dont count on
your GPS to get you home, count on
your skills with a map and compass to
do that especially when the batteries run out or you cant get a satellite
fix deep in the forest.

The guide gets the most enjoyment not from


challenging himself, but by sharing what he
knows with others.

knife, some fishing line, a nut, a few


turkey feathers picked from the
ground and a dowel to create a
squirrel hunting arrow.
As survivalists, its our duty to
ensure future generations learn the
tricks and trade of staying alive in
the outdoors and being prepared for
an emergency situation.

KEEP IN MIND
Each phase has its own challenges
and joys, and you can be in one or all
of the phases at the same time,
depending on what skill set youre
talking about. You may be in the
explorer phase for many of your outdoor experiences but can still be a
wanderer when you take on a new
challenge. Just make sure that as you
go through the phases, you keep
open to new things at all times;
learning is an essential part of surviving anything.
Larry Schwartz is an experienced outdoorsman and
hunter who passes on his knowledge through his writing and workshops.

PHOTOS BY THINKSTOCK

EXPLORER PHASE

ASG_1409_OFFGRID.CX.all 7/23/14 7:23 AM Page 125

the
GOOD
LIFE
(continued from page 69)

BATTERY
MAINTENANCE
The solar arrays and wind generator produce
DC current that charges a bank of 12 two-volt
batteries in the Crafts basement. Wired in
series, they provide 24 volts of electricity that
flows into a 1,500-watt inverter that changes it
to 110-volt AC current to run their household
appliances.
Those deep-cycle, wet-cell batteries require
maintenance. Once a month, the Crafts check
them to make sure the water level is not below
the lead acid plates. They top the batteries off
with distilled water if necessary.
If you take care of them, they usually last
about 10 years and that means not overcharging or undercharging them, Rick said. The
batteries are about $300 apiece, so thats
about $3,500 every 10 years just for batteries.
The inverters run about $1,500 for the whole
household.
Another part of battery maintenance is
performing whats called an equalization to
bring each cell in a bank of batteries to an
equal level of charge.
You dont want one to be one volt and all
the others to be at two volts because the one at
one volt will act like a resistor and draw down
the power from the other batteries, he said.
So you do an equalization, which is a controlled overcharging of the batteries and you
try to do that every 30 days.
A working full charge on a 24-volt system
is normally between 22 and 28 volts. With the
equalization, youre overcharging it to say 30
or 31 volts and maintaining that for two hours.
It gives the batteries time to heat up. It actually
heats the water to the point of almost boiling
and that helps the sulfur break free and fall off
the lead plates of the battery. It also gets the
batteries back to that higher state of charge.
Ive made a few mistakes. I went through
one set of batteries in six years because I didnt
quite maintain them properly. So I lost about
four years of use out of them.

[TOP] Craft prepares to perform a regular


maintenance on the bank of 12 two-volt batteries that stores the energy for his home.
[INSET] The Crafts can easily monitor their
electrical system to ensure their batteries are charging properly and to
determine how much electricity
they are generating.
[BOTTOM] DC controllers prevent the batteries from overcharging and divert extra
electricity to be used elsewhere. The systems 1,500watt inverter converts the 24volt direct current (DC) to 110volt alternating current (AC) to
power the homes appliances.

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AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

125

ASG_1409_OFFGRID.CX.all 7/23/14 7:23 AM Page 126

the
GOOD
LIFE

THE UPS AND DOWNS


For anyone contemplating living off
the grid, there are certain benefits
and drawbacks to keep in mind.

PHOTO COURTESY OF RICK CRAFT

TIMETime is the biggest obstacle,


Amy said. Some years were really
good and the firewood is all stacked
in the spring and the gardens are all
cleared out and then we can sit back
for a few weeks in the summer, but
there is always something to be done
and there is always something that
doesnt get done.

[FROM TOP]
Amy Craft cans fruits and vegetables
from their homesteads gardens to
feed the family during the long
months between growing seasons.
Garden plants meet power plant. The
Crafts garden grows as their solar
arrays quietly generate electricity.

SEPTEMBER 2014

Amy Craft uses a pitchfork to turn


some compost. Between composting
and recycling, the Crafts generate
very little trash.

126

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

NO TELEVISION/INTERNETTheres
very little that I miss, Amy said.
I dont miss television. I do miss
the computer sometimes. The Internet would be handy to have because
more and more, everything that you
need to do is electronic, such as banking. But Im in front of a computer all
day at work, so it doesnt really bother
me that we dont have it here.
FRUGAL ENERGYLiving off the grid
means getting used to being miserly
with the electricity.
You dont use hair dryers and
things like that, Amy said. I might
use a hair dryer once a year. The same
thing with the microwave. We rarely
use that. Thats probably our biggest
power draw, other than the toaster.
FAR AWAY FRIENDSSometimes the
rural lifestyle that they cherish can
also be a hardship.
Not having our family around is
hard, Amy said. Were kind of
remote. Even people we do become
friends with in the area dont want to
come way out here because its so far.
It gets a little lonely, but sometimes
its nice too, to have the quiet and the
privacy. We see the neighbors once
or twice a year and thats it. We pretty
much all keep to ourselves, unless we
need something.
KEEPING THE KIDS BUSYI guess
the opportunities for the kids arent
as plentiful here, she said. There
arent as many things to do. So thats

another big drawback. The kids dont


have friends really close by. They
cant just run down the road to a
friends house to play.
To enhance the social opportunities for their girls, the Crafts are very
active with the local Girl Scout troop
and Amy runs the childrens program
at the local library.
SAFER ENVIRONMENTWhile there
might be fewer playmates in the area
for the kids, overall the homestead
does provide a safe environment.
Its nice that I can let them out
the back door and for the most part
know that theyre going to be safe,
Amy said. There isnt really too much
that they can get into thats going to
be a problem other than picking flowers out of my gardens.
MORE INDEPENDENCEThere is a
good sense of security knowing you
have a buffer between your family
and any upsetting forces in the outside world.
You worry less about it, Amy
said. In the average home, you think
everything in my freezers going to
go bad, or Im not going to be able to
take a hot shower. Or am I going to
be able to get up for work in the
morning. I cant charge my cell
phone. Here, all those worries are
gone. Its nice knowing if something
did happen, we would be okay.
Weve got food in the basement.
Weve got water.
HEALTHIER LIVINGAlthough theres
work involved in growing their own
food, they do have peace of mind in
knowing that food is healthier.
Its so nice in the middle of winter
to be able to pull something off the
shelf and know what went into your
jars, Amy said. When you get something from the store you dont know
whether it was organically grown or
what pesticides they used or what the
cans are lined with. So its nice to
know what went in there and its like
eating fresh out of the garden.

PHOTO COURTESY OF RICK CRAFT

ASG_1409_OFFGRID.CX.all 7/23/14 7:23 AM Page 127

With the heavy snowfalls common during


Northern New York winters, snowmobiles
are often the best option for getting around
the homestead.

the lives of most of us who live a


more entwined existence.
We joke about it, but its really
not a joke, Rick said. We probably
have enough food and water for at
least a year. If necessary, Id never
have to leave my driveway for a
year.
The Crafts have steadily been
improving their property and becoming more self-sufficient along the way.
Because they both work away
from the homestead, finding the time
to tend to the chores around the
homestead can be a real challenge.
We try to find a happy medium,
said Rick.
If we were here 24/7, Im sure I
could be more efficient with the gardens and they could produce more.
We could weed them weekly instead
of monthly. If we watered them
more often theyd probably be more
bountiful.

WASTE NOT WANT NOT


Very little goes to waste, which is
important to the environmentally
conscious couple.
About 80 percent of our
garbage is either composted or recycled, Rick said.
The Crafts continue their work to
make their homestead as efficient as
possible. Next up is a system to capture and store rain water for their
gardens.
The Crafts are living the dream of
survivalists. Should a bad situation
occur, theyve shored themselves up
to weather it all.

PHOTO COURTESY OF TIM RALSTON

ASG_1409_RALSTON 7/18/14 4:37 AM Page 128

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.

TREK
TALK

Near Or Far, Make Sure


Youve Got The Essentials
Regardless of the difficulty or size of
your trek, you must be ready to face the
harsh realities that go along with entering
the wilderness.
Every year, there are thousands of
search-and-rescue operations performed
across our nation. Often they are for hikers
who have underestimated the natural conditions of their environment. Its possible
to significantly reduce the number of
these incidents if more people would
equip themselves with the elemental tools
of survival.

SEPTEMBER 2014

PHOTOS BY THINKSTOCK

WATER

128

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

One mistake many inexperienced hikers make is to not bring enough water.
Especially in my home state of Arizona,
numerous incidents revolve around dehydration. People will hike our mountains in
the soaring temperatures without sufficient water, which turns into a deadly
combination that can cause delirium,
which can result in the hiker getting lost.
If theres one thing you remember, make it
to bring as much water as you can,
because you will absolutely need it.

ASG_1409_RALSTON 7/21/14 1:06 PM Page 129

AD INDEX
SEPTEMBER 2014
MANY PEOPLE OVERESTIMATE THEIR ABILITIES TO
A FAULT, WHICH CAN LEAD TO INJURY OR DEATH.

TOOLS
There are certain items of survival
to have with you on every excursion,
and signal and navigation tools are
among them.
A compass can get you back on
track, but for inexperienced hikers, it
may not be as valuable. I recommend
carrying a tool like a whistle or signaling mirror so that you can be
found sooner rather than later.
Another important item to have is
a fire starter. If you were forced to
spend the night in the wild, building
a fire could be what saves your life.
Not only will it keep you warm, but it
may be what helps you get rescued in
the end.
Another good item to have is
cordage. This is a versatile item you
can use to capture food, make a shelter, strap your pack, fish build shelter,
capture food and make a hammock.
Last, you should definitely carry a
knife. You can use a knife in a myriad
of ways, including as a digging tool, a
weapon, for first-aid tasks, as a hammer, to split wood or cut saplings for

a fire and to notch limbs together for


a shelter.

LESS IS NOT MORE


As an outdoor enthusiast, I can
appreciate the fact that sometimes
carrying a bunch of extra weight is
not ideal. But when safety is an issue,
theres no getting around it; there are
some things you just cant do without.
I must stress again that before any
trip, it is vital to have a complete
understanding of what you are up
against. Many people overestimate
their abilities to a fault, which can
lead to injury or death. If you climb a
mountain, be sure that you have
enough energy to also climb down. If
you choose to leave the path to
explore, watch the clock and be mindful of your direction. Carefully select
the proper clothing for your adventures climate and terrain.
You can definitely avoid potentially life-threatening situations in the
wilderness with educated planning,
so make sure you do your research
and stay alive.

ADVERTISER

PAGE

AirForce Airguns . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .127


Blade-Tech Industries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .23
Chiappa Firearms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .91
Del-Ton . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .59
Dillon Precision . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .73
Hero T-Shirt Club/ Fructhman Marketing 121
Jantz Supply . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .53
Jantz Supply . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .81
JRH Enterprises . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15
Kershaw Knives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .37
Liberty Log Cabins . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7
LifeStraw . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .132
Major Surplus & Survival . . . . . . . . . . .10-11
Nitro-Pak . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .131
Nitro-Pak . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3
Primal Gear Unlimited LLC . . . . . . . . . . . .21
Scandinavian Tobacco Group . . . . . . . . . .83
Secure Medical . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .127
Streamlight . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .79
Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc. . . . . . .32-33
Survival Bags Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .87

TOPS Knives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .47


Tormach LLC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .125
W.R. Case & Sons Cutlery Co. . . . . . . . . . .2
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

SEPTEMBER 2014

PHOTOS BY THINKSTOCK

Tactical Night Vision Company . . . . . . . . .27

129

ASG_1409_CLOSING 7/17/14 5:46 AM Page 130

CLOSINGWORDS

We need to be
fit and ready
for anything
that might
come our way.
AARON B. POWELL,
DOOMSDAY DIARIES

PHOTO BY THINKSTOCK

130

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

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