The Accidental Survivalist, by Athena

Allow me to first apologize for all of my ignorant assumptions about a survivalist lifestyle. I grew up in a life of prudence and subsistence, and I swore I’d never put myself in a position to have to homestead or subsist again. During the hot summer at the canning tables and fish smoking racks, I swore I’d grow up to live in cities with abundant grocery outlets, fancy cafes, and pastry shops on every corner near my cute little apartment. Never again would my life rotate around a harvest schedule or my weekends spent in hunting tents. But life is funny and makes other plans, often without warning. For twenty years I enjoyed city life, travel, and the modern conveniences of out-of-season foods with ridiculous transportation costs. Then a string of failed jobs and relationships made me re-think the direction I was moving. I took a job on the wild Oregon coastline and tried to remember what my own voice sounded like. Where had all the windswept tree music and tidal tones been for the last twenty years? Then, by luck or accident, I stumbled across a piece of land in the Siuslaw National Forest. It was love at first … Continue reading

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Equestrian Survival For Bugging Out, Recon, Rescue, Projection of Force, or Hunting- Part 4, by R.M.

You can buy a lance head and boot at Cotswoldsport to make your lance. Bamboo is a good staff to use, but other woods work. Your ability to control the lance can be influenced; it’s the weight. I don’t really know western gear. I was trained in the European tradition– German, Austrian, and English styles. So I use that kind of gear. Saddle, cinch, stirrups, bridle with snaffle and bit (eggbut/something soft on the mouth). Know your horse’s teeth. If they need to be floated, do it. All western bits look too hard on the mouth to me. You might know better. If you are controlling your horse (hard mouthed horse) mostly by the mouth, you might not have a horse you can count on in stressful situations. If that’s all you’ve got, make do. I bring a rasp and prefer a horse who doesn’t need shoes. You can shape his hooves if anything happens to prevent cracks. I use a small collapsible brass hoof pick, which works quite well and fits in a normal shirt pocket or small pocket on your rig. Pick out the hooves at the start and end of the day as well as any time … Continue reading

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Equestrian Survival For Bugging Out, Recon, Rescue, Projection of Force, or Hunting- Part 3, by R.M.

It also pays to have practiced riding bare back. If you have to run, you may not have time to saddle up and will be fortunate enough to grab your rig. It’s like riding at a trot without posting. You will sit full on the back where the saddle would be, back straight up, allowing the body to become one with the horse’s up and down motion. Moving to the canter or full gallop is easier. Your body must be fluid with the horse. Running away, then collecting yourself, and returning on foot to take back gear might work and might save your animal. An undefendable situation requires retreat, even if you have to leave gear behind. You might think that, if you have a gun, none of those things matter. First, let me say that we have a duty to preserve God’s creation. In most cases that includes all the people you come in contact with. We should not be planning the demise of others, even if attacked; we should make the greatest effort to do no harm, but some people need to be stopped. We often must forgive them for they know not what they do, especially if … Continue reading

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Equestrian Survival For Bugging Out, Recon, Rescue, Projection of Force, or Hunting- Part 2, by R.M.

Figure Out How Much Weight Your Horse Can Handle If things head south, and you think you might have to use your horse under stress at some point in the near future, keep his weight right and work his chest. A firm horse is one you can rely upon. Using a soft horse for a strenuous endeavor is not fair to the horse and is a safety hazard to you. Every horse is different. A horse with bad conformation (bone structure) can’t have much expected of him; a swayback isn’t a long distance choice. You have to have a good idea of how they function/feel best. Most preferable is a horse who can’t wait to go for a ride. Once you’ve developed an honest assessment of what you and your horse are capable of, it’s time to figure out how much weight the horse can handle. A day trip away from home and a day back should enable you to figure out what is fair for your horse. Obviously, you should already know your horse. If you are not truly in touch with what your animal can do, don’t assume anything. Man, know thy horse! You can build most average … Continue reading

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Surviving Custer, by R.S.

Let’s be honest, how many of you ever expect to find yourself in a survival situation? You’ve probably day dreamed about it, wondering how you’d fare. The fact is, we don’t walk out the door in the morning expecting to find ourselves in a predicament. I certainly never expected to find myself in such a “survival” situation on a summer day in South Dakota’s Custer State Park. Yet, there I was facing such a situation just last summer. We had finally taken our long-awaited family vacation “out West”. We live in the suburbs outside a large Midwestern city. So the lure of loading up the RV and heading west on an adventure had been alive and well with us for some time. As any good tourist would, we planned the route that would take us through the Badlands and eventually to Mt. Rushmore. What could be more American, right? Having grown up in Boy Scouts, being prepared is practically part of my DNA. In the last few years, I’ve ramped things up a bit and have been more diligent about keeping a go-bag in my car along with a variety of other things that would be useful in a pinch. … Continue reading

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A Homemade Thermos Cooker, by M.P.

A thermos cooker is an energy saving cooking device. Earlier versions were a vacuum thermos that you placed uncooked food and boiling water into and then sealed it up, and in a few hours you had cooked food. Later versions have a pot that you put your ingredients into and place on your stove; you then bring the contents to a boil and place the pot into an insulated outer pot to hold the heat in and cook the food. Thermos cookers do not speed up cooking times; they only save energy, and in fact cooking times can be significantly longer than other methods. To cook food in the shortest amount of time, use a pressure cooker. Any serious prepper should already have and use a pressure cooker. The theory behind the thermos cooker is to limit the amount of heat that escapes from the cooker and hold that heat inside for a long period of time, therefore cooking the food inside with very little energy expended. Depending on the amount of food and liquid that is inside, a thermos cooker can also keep food warm for a very long time. Thermos cookers can be purchased at many online stores, … Continue reading

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Selecting An Escape Route, by KyoSa D

Everyone has a plan to “Get Out of Dodge” in an emergency. As I teach my self defense and firearms classes, I ask people and they all say, “I’d head up to my cabin” or “I’ll head out west”. The problem is, have you actually considered how you will leave the immediate area of your home or work? Most of the people I hear begin their plan ambiguously. They say, just simply, “I’d leave town”, but they have never done any reconnaissance or real-life consideration of their route. As humans, we are creatures of habit. If I want to leave my house in Metro Detroit and head to my cabin, I just jump on the freeway two blocks from home and take it most of the way, right? Well, on a normal weekend, without any unrest or an emergency, that’s very simple. These basic plans fall apart once we consider the effects of a large civil disturbance, a disaster, or simply a large-scale long-term blackout. With the increasing trend of protesters blocking the freeways and major streets, these issues must be taken into consideration. As the crisis unfolds, people will take to the streets in many ways. Protesters who may … Continue reading

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Vinegar As An Essential Multi-Purpose Tool for TEOTWAWKI- Part 2, by J.R.

Equipment and Supplies Making your own vinegar at home is a simple, useful, practical skill that is applicable to TEOTWAWKI.  If you can crush apples and save the apple juice, you can make apple cider vinegar (ACV).  In addition to apple, there are many different types of vinegars you can make depending upon your needs and desires.  I have been making ACV for many years. I have gallons put away in my basement, and I always have a bottle in the fridge that I use on a continual basis.  Stocking up on some basic supplies ahead of time will ensure you have the potential of making your own supply of vinegar for years.  One of the most important items you would want is an apple or fruit cider press. Farms with apple orchards have used these elementary presses for decades to make apple cider.  Growing up in rural New England, I first saw one in use when I was a child when my mother took me to the local town apple orchard where they made apple cider.  These types of presses can be purchased online for between $100-$500, depending on the quality and brand of the press, and may even … Continue reading

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Vinegar As An Essential Multi-Purpose Tool for TEOTWAWKI- Part 1, by J.R.

During TEOTWAWKI, long-term survivability will depend upon more than adequate caloric intake and the ability to defend oneself and one’s family.  Historically, the leading cause of death during times of prolonged war, conflict, or natural disasters has not been violence or the direct impact of disasters, rather, most people perished due to rampant disease and infections caused by the interruption of access to medical treatment, clean water, and adequate hygiene.  In dire times, access to medicinal agents and the ability to both prevent food and water-borne illness and to maintain hygienic living quarters may make the difference between life and death.  Although various options abound to address one or more of those concerns, for the budget-minded prepper, tackling each of those categories can prove costly and confusing.  But what if we could utilize one affordable and easily obtainable substance to treat many medical conditions, preserve food, and provide for a hygienic environment?  Many people may be surprised to learn that such a substance does exist and has been known since ancient times.  That incredible substance is vinegar.   Even before the rise of civilization more than 6,000 years ago, vinegar was known among many cultures for its medicinal, preservative, and … Continue reading

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Our Home Freeze Drying Saga, by R.P.

First, let me share a little background. Being single for a long time, I bought a very small house on a big lot. Well, things seem to happen in our lives. I met a woman, one thing led to another, and now I have a wife and three kids in a very tiny house. Retiring at the first of the year, my brother asked me to help rehab a house. While I was working, I kept hearing these ads for a food freeze drier by Harvest Right. After a few months of this, I went home one night and asked my wife if she had heard of it. She didn’t even blink, and said her mom had one and loved it. Did I forget to tell you my wife is Mormon? We spent the evening looking at everything we could find on the Internet and talking about it. It was back to rehabbing for me after that. About the time I got done with the house rehab, my wife tells me she has bought us a freeze drier and it will be here in a few days! Now it’s scramble time. I have five people living in less than 700 … Continue reading

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Building an 80% Firearm- Part 4, by Tupreco

Building 80% 1911 and Glock Pistols In Part 3 of this series, we took a detailed look at selecting and completing an 80% AR-15 lower receiver. Whether or not you choose to build an AR-15 ghost gun, you may be interested to know that there are also 80% pistol frames and build kits out there to make your own ghost pistol as well. It’s a great challenge and very satisfying to complete one successfully. First, we will look at the legendary John Browning-designed 1911 version. Your 1911 Ghost Gun Trying to explain the popularity of the 1911 .45 ACP pistol is like trying to tell someone why you love your Harley Davidson motorcycle. It goes beyond simple functionality, often being described as something that just feels right. A friend, who is a fanatic for both his 1911 and his Harley, once told me that while neither of them could be called the best versions among their competitors, they both fulfill their mission in a way that feels uniquely American. They are both solid performers, each with its own rich history and back story. So it’s no surprise that an opportunity to build your own version of a handgun with such … Continue reading

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Building An 80% Firearm- Part 3, by Tupreco

Finishing an AR-15 80% Lower During the eight years of Obama’s presidency, a record 144 million pre-purchase NICS background checks were performed. This is almost exactly twice the number we saw during eight years of George W. Bush. Whether the numbers return to Bush-era levels under a Trump presidency remains to be seen. Certainly, while a background check is not an actual gun sale, it is widely believed that the numbers do correlate closely to actual gun sales. This substantial increase in firearms sales also saw a corresponding increase in firearms technology development. Good examples of this include the rise in popularity of the AR-15 rifle with pistol versions and availability of several new calibers; the proliferation of new firearms models; and solid sales growth for items like suppressors and specialty stocks that used to be regarded as curiosities. While Obama’s anti-gun stance clearly polarized the nation, a broader firearms mindset also became evident by increased concealed carry permit issuance and broader concealed carry legislation. Firearms training classes also proliferated as the idea of gun ownership actually attracted many new shooters, and, of course, there was the emergence of the 80% firearms industry. The 80% firearm idea is simple. It … Continue reading

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