Columbia Trailstorm Hikers, by Pat Cascio

I’m very picky when it comes to footwear! I stopped purchasing cheap shoes at least 35-40-years ago, always remember, you get what you pay for. I don’t purchase footwear from any discount shoe stores, nor at any of the big box stores. I’ve found it much better to save up for better shoes and boots. I want to buy something that will last me a very long, and give me the support I need. Unlike a lot of senior citizens, I have high arches, instead of fallen arches. So, I wear prescription insoles, instead of the insoles that come with …




How to Quickly Kindle a Fire, by St. Funogas

Comments on SurvivalBlog last winter about some folks having issues starting their morning fire in the woodstove got me to thinking about how crucial fire-building skills should be in our skill-set preps, as well as an important every-day skill for those of us who heat with wood or build fires on a regular basis. If TEOTWAWKI becomes a reality and a wood fire becomes common for heating and cooking, this knowledge will be essential. Much has been written on the many aspects of building a fire, mostly geared towards wilderness emergencies, but they typically only address how to ignite tinder, …




Shake Light 40B, by The Novice

The EcoCentricNow Shake Light 40B is a human-powered flashlight. It is fairly reasonably priced, reasonably water resistant, reasonably shock resistant, and reasonably heat resistant. It is charged by a powerful magnet that presents a danger to sensitive equipment, so I do not recommend it for field use or as a children’s toy. I think it could be useful for applications like tornado preparedness kits or as a nightstand flashlight. The Back Story I recently submitted an article to SurvivalBlog that included a review of the IKEA Ljusa hand crank flashlight. The beauty of the Ljusa is that the hand crank …




Hand Sanitizer, A Knife, and Eyeglasses Cleaner, by The Novice

I would like to pass along some odd discoveries for your amusement and edification. Repurposing Surplus Hand Sanitizer With the advent of Covid, many micro breweries and chemical companies in our area turned their production capacity to making hand sanitizer. They wanted to do their part to help slow the spread of Covid. No good deed goes unpunished. On December 29, 2020, the FDA notified these companies that they needed to pay a $14,060 Monograph Drug Facility Fee and $9,373 Contract Manufacturing Organization Facility Fee by February 11, 2021. After significant media outcry, the fees were withdrawn. They are a …




Some Poncho Options, by Pat Cascio

A poncho is something so simple and inexpensive, yet it can save your life. I don’t suppose anyone really knows when the poncho was invented, but it has been around for a lot of years. Prior to the poncho, at least here in the USA West, cowboys and ranchers wore a “slicker” when it was raining. It was nothing more than a long coat, usually heavy canvas duck material, that was impregnated with something like beeswax or similar waterproofing material, that repelled the rain. The only thing was, your lower body still got pretty wet when riding a horse. In …




Mosquito Protection and a Headlamp, by The Novice

It is said that even a blind squirrel finds a nut every now and then. In this second installment of the Blind Squirrel series, I would like to pass along some nutty discoveries for your amusement and edification. Mosquito Protection The area where I live is quite swampy. At certain times of the year, being outside without some sort of protection is almost unbearable. Whenever possible, I like to avoid the use of insect repellent. It feels sticky, smells stinky, and I don’t like the idea of absorbing chemicals through my skin. Fortunately, there are some other tools available that …




Clocks And Glocks Need Oil, by A.J.S.

This brief article is about the lubrication requirements of some everyday mechanical objects including clocks, sewing machines, and guns. It is surprising how little oil is needed but it has to be in the right places. A clock is a good example. Your mechanical watch or clock may run just fine for years without maintenance. But one day it will stop running before the next wind-up time and you will probably realize it needs oiling. This happened with one of my old pocket watches. It was made in 1899 and is an outstanding example of advanced watch production of the …




Gear Review: LogOX Forester Package, by The Novice

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, a cant hook is: “A hinged metal hook at the end of a long handle, used for gripping and rolling logs.” One refinement of the cant hook is the timberjack, which attaches a stand to a cant hook, enabling the user to turn and elevate smaller logs, thus allowing the user to cut those logs without the saw coming in contact with the ground. I own a 48-inch Ironton Wooden Handle Timberjack. It is an extremely useful tool. It allows me to roll larger logs and elevate smaller logs that I would otherwise have …




The Tao of Cordage – Part 2 , by J.M.

(Continued from Part 1. This concludes the article.) Paracord As I’ve mentioned several times, 550 paracord is the granddaddy of prepper cordage. Virtually every survival-related blog, forum, book and other information source has recommendations to include 550 paracord in your preps. 550 paracord was originally developed to use as lines on parachutes, so it’s strong and stretches a lot (up to 30%) to absorb the shock of the parachute deploying. From a survival perspective, it’s a kernmantle style, so you can extract the internal strands and use those for fishing line, sewing thread, etc. and still use the external sheath …




The Tao of Cordage – Part 1 , by J.M.

If you ask anyone involved in preparedness ‘what are five things I should always include in my kit?’, the one item that is guaranteed to appear near the top in every list is ‘cordage’, or more specifically, parachute cord {“paracord”). The idea of including cordage as part of your survival preps and everyday carry kits makes a lot of sense, as it has dozens of uses in survival situations, including: Making a shelter Making a splint Make a sling Fishing line Restraining someone Making traps Attaching gear Making repairs Raising and lowering things Grip wrapping Climbing Bundling Pulling/towing These are …




Our First Camper, by The Novice

Many people include a recreational vehicle in their preparedness planning. For some, it is a part of their “Get out of Dodge” plan. For others, it offers temporary accommodation at their retreat location. Neither of these scenarios is an element in the planning that my wife and I have done. But perhaps our experiences with our first camper will be informative to some SurvivalBlog readers in their planning, and entertaining to others. Camping in Norway A little more than 30 years ago, my family and I moved to Norway. Norway is a land of rugged natural beauty as well as …




A Micro Survival Kit for Everyday Carry – Part 2, by M.B.

(Continued from Part 1. This concludes the article.) Tool #2: Cordage Cordage — string, rope, etc. — is another of our oldest tools. Early people would have used animal sinew or plant fibers. No matter what its form, cordage is an essential element for making shelters, tools, and weapons, in first aid, and for making needed repairs. Smallest Considered: Dental floss Largest considered: Paracord Final choice: Paracord, plus several feet of fishing line AND thread Honorable mentions: Braided fishline, carpet or upholstery thread Thread – Strong thread is wonderfully useful for small tasks and repairs, such as attaching a feather …




A Micro Survival Kit for Everyday Carry – Part 1, by M.B.

In Jules Verne’s 1874 novel, The Mysterious Island, a group of Union men escape from a Confederate prison during the U.S. Civil War, in an observation balloon. They are swept away into a massive storm and survive a crash landing on a Pacific island with nothing but what they are wearing and what’s in their pockets. In an early scene, the castaways have gathered food, firewood and tinder, but the character preparing the fire suddenly discovers that he has lost his waterproof match container. A frantic search among the castaways uncovers a single match in one character’s vest, and this …




One Year Review: Blackhawk Trident Boots, by Desert Al

Back in January of 2020, SurvivalBlog’s Field Gear Editor  Pat Cascio reviewed the Blackhawk 6-inch Trident Ultralite Boots, and caught my attention. I am wary of buying gear online without physically holding something in my hands and trying it on. But I have used many Blackhawk products over the last 10 years and have been pleased with the price point and quality of their items. I had my boots picked out waiting in my shopping cart on Blackhawk’s website for several months until they went on sale for Father’s day in June of 2020 and I purchased them for right …




Timekeeping When the Grid is Down, by The Novice

When the grid goes down, some means of keeping time may be helpful. This is true not only in relation to practical details like communications schedules or food preparation. Timekeeping also contributes to emotional well-being by helping to maintain orientation in the midst of a confusing situation. This emotional benefit is so significant that interrogators often try to deprive their subjects of this benefit by restricting their access to timekeeping devices and cues. With that in mind, I would like to talk about some non-electrical timekeeping devices that have been helpful to me, and that are ready for my use …