Showing posts from July, 2010

Free firestarter offer is over...for now

The feedback for free firestarters has been overwhelming. For now the offer is over until Leon can get some more inventory. If you received a firestarter please let me know what you think of it. You can email me at artyboy at gmail dot com.

Improvising a fixed blade knife

A couple of posts ago I talked about how I had made a fixed blade knife with the small pocket knife blade that I keep in my wallet. It was a pretty easy little project. It only took about two hours. I've never made a knife handle. I've never even read about how to make one. I just put it together off the top of my head. Everything I used either came out of my wallet or can easily be found in nature. Any suggestions on how to make a better knife handle next time will be appreciated. Anyway, here's what I did. I started with a stick that was about the size of the blade. I battoned the stick in half. Then I "sanded" them into the rough shape of a handle by rubbing them on my patio. Any flat rock should work. After getting the rough shape I drilled holes in them to line up with the hole in the blade so that I could pin it in place. I started by digging out a hole with the blade then I used my diamond knife sharpener to file out the holes to the

Free Wallet Firestarters!

Leon over at has made a very generous offer to my readers. He's giving away free wallet firestarters for a limited time! Just send him an email that you saw this post and would like to try it out and he'll send you one for free. You can reach him at survivalsenselp at gmail dot com. I already have some on the way and will be doing a review when they show up. Be sure to check out his site, too. It's got a lot of great survival information.

The Wallet Survival Kit

Recently I did a post on my every day carry . I had just updated a few things. In that post I also mentioned a wallet "survival kit". You're obviously not going to be able to fit everything you need into your wallet but you can definitely carry enough to give you an advantage if you ever get stuck in a situation where you're between you and your preps. I've been messing around with the idea and have come up with a few items that are so small that they're practically unnoticeable. Everyone knows that the one tool you really need if you ever get caught on your own is a knife. Most of the knives that I've seen that fit into a wallet tend to be very small. They're just a small, maybe 1-2" knife with a full tang and no handle. Such a small knife has limited functionality. So instead of paying a ton of money for what would amount to a novelty I just dug around in my knife drawer and pulled out a gun show special folder. I took it apart and w

Ova Easy Dehydrated Egg Review

So, like I said in my post yesterday, I was checking out my local big box sporting goods store and saw some dehydrated eggs in the freeze dried food section. The bag was only 4.5 oz and it claimed to contain the equivalent of a dozen eggs. I've been looking for something like this for a while. I'm not a fan of mountain house "camper meals". They just have way too much salt and they don't fill me up at all. I prefer to cook my own stuff. Eggs are a pretty essential ingredient in many of my favorite recipes. Dehydrated eggs are an obvious solution but every time I look at the ~$50 price tag on a #10 can of them I've always decided to hold off. At $3.99 these were not only a good price but they were in a convenient package that will fit nicely in my BOB. If they came in resealable packages they'd be absolutely perfect. Everything else that I carry is in plastic peanut butter jars, though, so one more won't hurt. Anyway, I'm not about to c

What I did to prep today

I don't do these posts too often. I should probably start doing them more just to give other people ideas. I always seem to be prepping so I don't really think about it much. It's just kind of second nature. I spent a couple of hours in the garden getting caught up with weeding. Usually, I just water it and go to work. I weed on the weekends when I have more than 20 minutes to spend in there. It amazes me how much you can get for such a small amount of work out of a garden. After spending a few hours with the baby and some time doing some researching I decided to head over to the local big box sporting goods store. I wanted a good fixed blade knife and their selection is usually pretty good and reasonably priced. When I got there they had CRKT Pike's Peak folders on sale for $15. It was a good deal so I had to grab one for the wife. My daily carry is an urban shark so it wasn't much of an upgrade for me. CRKT makes some great knives, though, so having

Cheese is finally done

So I finally tried the cheese that I made a couple of months ago. I wasn't sure what to expect. What I ended up with was a good, edible, mild cheese that was a bit like cheddar. I could eat it every day and I wouldn't complain about it a bit. As you can see it ended up with a lot of little holes in it. I'm not sure what that's from. It didn't seem to affect the flavor, though. It made it a little crumbly but it was still soft with the same texture as a jack cheese or something. I let some friends try it a couple of days ago and they all liked it. I'm not going to try again until I build a press that can handle a 5 lb block. Making 1 lb of cheese is just too much work. When I can start making 5 lbs at a time I'll likely get more into it. I hit up an estate sale today and scored a Lyman Spartan reloading press and a GI hatchet for $30. The hatchet is replacing the Coleman hatchet that I usually take to the woods. As for the press, I've

Quote of the day

"The more you read and learn, the less your adversary will know." - Sun Tzu

Garden update

My garden is going pretty well so far. The kale from last year has taken over a corner around my container gardens. I let them grow because they're a very good green. I love them and have been eating a ton of them but they just keep growing. In hard times they'll likely be a staple. You can can them, freeze them, dry them, eat them raw or cook them. They're great in a number of dishes. I've also been harvesting turnips for a few weeks now. My beans and peas should be ready soon. My summer squash should also be ready pretty soon. The "beets" that I planted turned out to be broccoli. I've already harvested some florrettes. I planted some acorn squash and peppers in another patch of the yard. A bunch of purslane also went nuts so I just weeded the nasty stuff and let it do it's thing. It's a really good wild edible that tastes like spinach. The stems have a citrusy taste. I've been eating a lot of them and will be planting some

Dr Seuss on government

Saw this on the web and thought I'd post it. I do not like this Uncle Sam, I do not like his health care scam. I do not like these dirty crooks, or how they lie and cook the books. I do not like when Congress steals, I do not like their secret deals. I do not like this speaker Nan, I do not like this 'YES WE CAN'. I do not like this spending spree, I'm smart, I know that nothing's free, I do not like your smug replies, when I complain about your lies. I do not like this kind of hope. I do not like it. nope, nope, nope!

My little baby is growing up

As I type she's on her second (ok third now) bowl (very very small bowls) of prune juice and baby food rice. She loves the stuff. Being the prepper that I am I can't let her get too big before I make sure that I have a good repertoire of great one liners for any boys that she actually convinces me are OK to bring home. So now I call out to you experienced fathers. What do you say to junior when he shows up to pick your daughter up for a date? Maybe you've been junior. Has anyone ever really freaked you out? Tips and ideas are appreciated.

My Get Home Bag

I've touched on the GHB in the past but I've never really gone over what I put in mine. The idea is simple. It's just a miniature bob that's designed to get you home in the event of an emergency where you can't just drive home. It should be small, lightweight and easy to carry. Some people go so far as to carry there's everywhere so that they always have it on them. I'm rarely far enough away from my car to warrant that so mine stays in the trunk. When I go to fairs, festivals or other places where you have to park 10 miles away and deal with huge crowds of people then I take it with me. So what should you put in it? As you can see, I probably pack a lot more than I need. The pack only weighs 8 lbs, though, so I don't even notice the weight. If I ever need it there's a good chance that I'll be walking several miles to get home. There's a very big network of green belt trails in my city which I plan on utilizing if I happen to be

Bug Out: The Complete Plan for Escaping a Catastrophic Disaster Before It's Too Late

So I finally finished reading Scott William's Bug Out: The Complete Plan for Escaping a Catastrophic Disaster Before It's Too Late . He sent me a copy for review just a couple of days after it was released. I've been reading a couple of other books on the side so this one took me longer than it should have to get through. It's a very easy to read, concise, to the point manual that covers the who, what, when, where, why and how of bugging out. You see several other survival manuals touch on it. You read about it all the time on message boards. You see people talk about BOBs, survival caches, bug out locations, bug out routes and everything else. I haven't seen any books and very few discussions with this level of detail that concentrates solely on this aspect of survival, though. Who: Who needs to have a serious bug out plan? Not everyone has a stocked bug out location in the boonies. He does a good job of not only convincing you that you should have a so

Trapper family in ANWAR

Here's a cool documentary that I watched last night. Years ago this guy moved to the ANWAR with his wife to raise his family. He's one of the last people allowed to live there by the US government because he lived there before they instituted a moratorium on new people settling there. Check it out when you have time. This guy is the real deal without being your stereotypical antisocial survivalist type.

This is an interesting camping tool

A couple of months ago a new outdoors store opened up locally. It's pretty neat. They have everything from military surplus to clothing to camping gear to cattle feed. Anyway, I was poking around in the milsurp section and saw a stack of these: It was only $3.95 so I went ahead and picked it up. If nothing else I'll have fun beating up on it next time I take it to the woods. The concept is very cool, though. It's a small hatchet with a pry bar, a hammer and a nail puller. It only weighs about a pound and it's not very big. More than anything it struck me as a great urban emergency tool. It's small and lightweight enough that you could easily carry it in a daily carry bag or a laptop bag. It would be a great tool to have on you if you had to pry a door open or even hack through it. My biggest concern is that the steel seems pretty soft. I don't think that I'd want to stake my life on it. The thought of using the pry bar really concerns me. I

Brewing Beer With Preps

For years I've stored grain. I've had at least a couple of bags of rice and a few bags of wheat lying around longer than I've been brewing beer. Ever since I started brewing I've been looking for ways to "cut" my beer with my preps. The big boys do it all the time and they produce drinkable beer. Purists will, of course, poo poo you all day but if you haven't figured it out by now I give a crap what the purists say. I prefer to figure it out for myself. It's amazing what I learn when I do something on my own rather than reading about the almost certain results from a book. Anyway, I've been reading Bug Out by Scott Williams (buy this review is coming soon and it will be glowing) and Radical Brewing: Recipes, Tales and World-Altering Meditations in a Glass by Randy Mosher. If you understand the basic concepts of brewing (up to the point of understanding how to brew a decent all grain beer) then you can follow Randy's book a

My Cold Steel order showed up

I decided to get in on the Cold Steel Special Projects sale . I ordered an 18" spear point machete to possibly replace the hatchet in my main BOB, 2 western hunters and 3 finn wolfs. The machete was dull. It's also well balanced with good heft, a full tang and a lanyard hole. I can't wait to test it after spending some time on it with a sharpening stone. The sheath is a little chinsy but it should hold up. The other blades were pretty sharp. They're a little thin and flimsy. From what I read I expected that from the western hunter. It's more of a multi-purpose kitchen knife. I expected the finn wolf to perform about as well as a Mora, though. As you can see from the picture it didn't. I couldn't wait to test the finn wolf before taking the picture. I was hoping at least some durability but the tip broke after just one or two stabs into a tree. Why was I stabbing a tree with my brand new knife? Well today I was reading Bug Out Survival (the

Read this article

Here's an article that you need to read. It explains a lot about human nature, world views and idealism. This flaw in the human thought process is currently one of the greatest threats to our liberties. Too many of our leaders and people in the media on both sides suffer from it.