Siege Belts, by Thomas Christianson

I recently tested three Siege Belts: the standard-sized Fury buckle with the “Gray Man” finish, the large oval Frenzy buckle with the “Cloudburst” finish, and the large rectangular Ferocious buckle with the “Gray Man” finish. I found all three belts to be comfortable, versatile, attractive, and strong. The heavy buckles and extra strong straps of all three belts were also perfectly suited to allow the belts to be used as improvised tools for self defense in situations where other more suitable tools might not be available. The belts are all handcrafted in the USA. They were priced at $149 for …




Three Pairs of Gloves, by Thomas Christainson

Gloves protect hands. When I am cleaning the outside wood boiler, gloves protect my hands from burns. When I am clearing snow, gloves protect my hands from frostbite. When I am using a chainsaw, gloves protect my hands from cuts and scrapes. Overview In recent months, I have had the opportunity to test three different pairs of gloves under a variety of different conditions. Mechanix FastFit Coyote Gloves and Gardenline Heavy Duty Work Gloves protected my hands from abrasion, laceration, and cold. Igloos Men’s Leather Driving Gloves protected my hands primarily from cold. The Mechanix gloves were on sale for …




L.L. Bean Wool Cresta Hiking Socks, by Thomas Christianson

Transportation is a wonderful thing. Whether flying a jet aircraft or bumping along in an oxcart on a dirt trail, it is great when someone or something else is expending the energy to carry us and our stuff where we want to go. There are some times and some places where transportation is just not available. At those times and in those places, we are dependent upon our own two feet. In those types of situations, good boots and good socks may be the difference between getting where we need to go and not getting anywhere at all. Foot problems …




Useful Tools For The Homestead, by Hollyberry

I love reading about homesteading back in the late 1800s thru the 1940s. I also like to study photos from earlier times, especially kitchens to see what they used. Back then there was no microwave, Kitchenaids or food processors. What you had was what you had and it better be durable as there was no Walmart around the corner to replace what you just broke. Most household kitchen countertops today are cluttered with all kinds of machines designed to make our lives easier. Today’s homesteader can spend a lot of money on “essential” tools only to sell them off for …




Keen American-Built Boots, by Thomas Christianson

I recently bought a pair of Keen American Built Boots at a consignment store. They cost me $44.99. These Braddock Waterproof Mid Soft Toe Boots run $220 per pair, new. The Keen Braddock mid-cut boots are very sturdy, though the soles are somewhat stiffer than I prefer. They are also extremely warm, making them most suitable for cool weather use. All in all, they are decent boots, and American-made. But they somehow lack that measure of comfort that gives a pair of boots a place of affection in my heart. It may just be that my feet are a funny …




A 12-Month Preparedness Checklist – Part 1, by Reltney McFee

It has been said that amateurs study tactics, professionals study logistics. I have attempted to put things aside for rainy days, and, with Mr. Biden at the helm, and Mr. Buttigieg as Secretary of Transportation, well, my achy knees tell me that rainy days are a’comin. This last November, I had the epiphany that I needed to check the condition as well as charge of my batteries. This is a task for me semi-annually. I inspect for signs of leakage, I test the strength, using a voltage meter. Radio Shack used to sell them for $10-$20, once upon a time. …




Doing Laundry Off-Grid and DIY Soap Recipes, by E.H.

When living completely off-grid, without either running water or corporate electricity, I wash clothes by hand and that’s okay. One way to maintain a good attitude about hand-washing laundry is to stay on top of it. Facing a mountain of dirty laundry with no washing machine can stir up feelings of dread, so I do it in small batches on a regular basis. I’d rather head for a laundromat when confronted with a big pile of stained and stinky laundry. Days are coming, however, when that won’t be an option, but you can bet things will still keep getting dirty. …




RedHead Ultimate Work Pants, by Tom Christianson

RedHead Ultimate Work Pants have an appropriate name: they are a good pair of pants to wear while working. They are comfortable, durable, stain resistant, and well-cut. The pants, which are manufactured in Bangladesh, are made of a lightweight cotton canvas. They retailed for $39.99 at Bass Pro Shops at the time of this writing. The Backstory I recently decided that two of my pairs of work jeans had reached the end of their useful life. The holes had gotten large enough that I had a hard time getting my feet through the legs of the pants rather than through …




Hiding and Tracking – Part 1, by J.M.D.

I enjoy learning new things and picking up new skills, and the many activities I engage in such as shooting, paintball, backpacking and, of course, prepping give me ample motivation and opportunity to do so. A year or so ago while on a backpacking trip with some friends I met a guy who was a pretty decent tracker, and after he kindly spent some time on that hike showing me some of the basics I decided that tracking (and evading trackers) were some skills that might be useful in a TEOTWAWKI scenario. Since then I’ve taken training classes, read books, …




Silver Fox Army Socks, by Thomas Christianson

I recently bought six pair of Silver Fox brand U.S. Army Men’s Cushion Sole Socks. In terms of comfort and durability, they leave a lot to be desired. In fact, I am so badly disappointed by the performance of the Silver Fox socks that I do not recommend them for field use. If you are desperate, Silver Fox socks are better than no socks at all. But if you have any way of getting Darn Tough Wool Socks, Smart Wool Socks, or another quality brand, then they would probably be a better investment. The Backstory For everyday tasks during the …




The Ghillie Suit: The Ultimate in Camouflage (Updated)

Note:  This is an update to an article that I wrote for SurvivalBlog, back in September of 2005.  I found that many of the included links had expired, so I have updated them. I’ve also added some important details. — Back in the 18th century, game wardens in Scotland were engaged in an occasionally deadly game of cat and mouse with poachers. These wardens–called “ghillies” in the local parlance of the day were experts in field craft. To catch a poacher was difficult, so the ghillies would cut tree or bush limbs and cover themselves with them as camouflage while …




Gear Review: Klik Belts, by Thomas Christianson

I recently tested two Klik Belts. One of them is single-ply, and the other one is double-ply. They are both excellent belts that are durable, comfortable, attractive, and do a good job of keeping my pants up. If you need a new belt, it may be worth your while to take a look at what Klik Belts has to offer. Belts as Gear Ever since ancient times, a belt has been one of the basic items of clothing and of gear. The armor of God listed in Ephesians 6:10-18 included the belt of truth. For the Roman soldier, the belt …




Consider Your Socks, by Pat Cascio

Everyone has a sock drawer! Most of us don’t give any thought to socks – for the most part. We just reach in and grab whatever is in our hand, and put those socks on for the day. As I’ve stated in the past, when it comes to footwear, I’m very particular about the kinds of shoes and boots I wear. I mainly wear boots. Matter of fact, the only pair of shoes I own came from the Salvation Army. Bought those used shoes to go to out oldest daughter’s college graduation – I wore a suit. I still have …




Wellco Military Boots, by Pat Cascio

One of the absolute best pieces of kit you can purchase is quality footwear that you can afford to buy. If you’re seriously into preparedness, and have any plans on bugging out – especially on-foot, then you need some really outstanding boots. I’m very particular when it comes to my footwear. I have been for most of life. I refuse to buy cheap Chinese-made knock-off boots. I don’t buy at the ten buck shoe store, nor any of the big or small box stores. While mainland China boots and shoes might look good, you’ll find out in very short order …




The Solar Clothes Dryer, by St. Funogas

I know, you were expecting some sort of a solar box that held heat in for drying your clothes, perhaps even with a squirrel-powered tumbler to make the clothes come out fluffier, so my apologies. I had planned on making one of those to go along with my solar panels, solar food dryer, solar beeswax melter, and solar water heater among others. While waiting to build my solar dryer I used the old-fashioned kind my mother, grandmothers, and everyone has used since rope was invented. By the time I was ready to build a box-type solar dryer, I discovered the …