Guest Post: So Why Would You Do Tactical Training?, by David

Why Tactical Training

“So why do you do this tactical training stuff?” This is a question I get asked from time to time.  Sadly, the answer does not lend itself to a sentence or two.  Let me lay out my premises and then some conclusions.

(This article comes from David, who is a multi-class MVT alumni. He is the organizer of the Idaho Classes in 2016 and 2017. And MVT says, “We have already scheduled Idaho May 2018.”)

Assumed Role

In our family, I am literally the last man standing of my generation.  Since I am no longer immersed in pursuing “the rat race”, I have time to contemplate the long-term future and security of our children and grandchildren.  Our kids are busy with their careers and families.  Put differently, while I fervently hope bad times will not come knocking, I am the one most inclined to contemplate and plan for those “unlikely … Continue reading

USMC Mountain Survival Course- Part 5, by E.T.

USMC Mountain Survival Course

Casualty Exercise

A few hours later, after dawn, we began our death march back to the USMC Mountain Survival Course base. To add excitement to our return, the instructors gave us several “casualties” that had to be carried out. We cut poles and ran them through our buttoned blouse sleeves to make stretchers. We soon realized that even with the casualty holding on, they would need to be tied onto the litter. As we carried it over rocks and up and down inclines, they would slide around and fall out. We almost made them into a real casualty several times.

This was extremely draining, but it was uplifting to know we were on the home stretch. At this point we were all emaciated and filthy. The hump back seemed to take forever. We moved continuously, passing the casualty from group to group of six people. As one group passed the … Continue reading

Saying Goodbye to the Worst Camo Pattern, Ever

In 2015, with the rollout of Operational Camouflage Pattern (OCP)—a slight variation of the Crye Multicam pattern, the U.S. Army announced that it is nearing the end of issuing the much-hated Universal Camouflage Pattern (UCP, also known as the Army Combat Uniform or ACU), a conspicuous grayish blob pattern that is actually prominent against most natural backgrounds. The transition from the UCP to OCP Multicam is taking four years. The last day that the UCP uniforms are still authorized for wear for the U.S. Army will be September 30th, 2019.

All that I can say is, good riddance to the blob! In my estimation, the UCP is about the worst uniform issued since the French used sky blue tunics and pants in World War I. In the context of survivalism, the grayish UCP utility uniform is suitable for use perhaps only in sagebrush country. Because … Continue reading

The Fallacy of the Bugout Bag, by J.C.

I began my quest to become self-sufficient in a bug out situation sometime around the end of 2004 or the beginning of 2005.  My first purchase, if I recall was a gravity fed water filter and a small solar battery charger.  The old saying that one can live three weeks without food but only three days without water, in hindsight is what drove me to that purchase.  I don’t regret buying it to this day, but the chances that it will be with me in a true bug out situation, are slim to none.

Before I go any further I would like to state that there are numerous different scenarios in a survival situation and that each requires its own skill set and supplies in order to get through them.  In two of those three scenarios, that big gravity filter will be worth its weight in gold.

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I Love Sharp Things, by Phil M.

In any survival situation a defective tool is pretty much worthless and will cost you dearly in frustration or even your life. I’m sure you can think of a lot of examples. Effective tools are a big part of my life and most all of them need to be sharp, and some of them very sharp, like chisels and planer blades. When I started thinking of all the tools that I keep sharp the list started running into the dozens, everything from a potato peeler to a chainsaw. A lot of you are like me in one way or another as far as needing something with a keen edge to get the job done. For instance, the little scissors for trimming those pesky nose hairs or loping shears for the trees and shrubs. All of us have knives in the kitchen drawer or knife block, but how many of them … Continue reading

Letter Re: Tracking Dogs

Dear Editor:
I have some experience with dogs that were specially-trained to track living humans, and with cadaver dogs. I agree with the previous Tracking Dog posts regarding restrictive points of terrain and/or infrastructure. In any escape route, there are always certain areas of heightened vulnerability, which an experienced team of searchers will not disregard.

The Texas Rangers at one time (reportedly) enjoyed an annual manhunt in the Texas Panhandle. They would seek volunteers from vetted and trusty inmates whose reward at the end of the day, would be the day’s freedom and a good meal. The inmate would be given a head start before Rangers, handlers, and dogs from a local state penitentiary would sally forth in pursuit. The Rangers and dog handlers were usually on horses and I don’t think they ever ‘lost’ a trustee. Before this practice fell in disrepute, the trustee manhunts provided great … Continue reading

Letter Re: Tracking Dogs

Dear Editor:
I would like to relate my experiences with tracking dogs that are not even trained. We had a beagle who was born mostly blind. She was a pet. She had an incredible sense of smell that I have seen in other trained hounds, but not in a pet.

We would bring her to our children’s high school, which had 2,000 students. I would put her in the front of the multi-building facility and command her to “Find the kids.” She would start off walking making big S-shaped turns as she headed to and between the buildings. All of a sudden the large sweeps would stop, the dog would change her demeanor and now she would head in a straight line with just her head moving side to side. She had the trail. At that point you could just follow her and she would locate my children very quickly. … Continue reading

My Favorite Materials for Clothing, by B.A.

Not being a survivalist, nor being flush with cash, I am constantly amazed at the number of times people are told to buy the newest and greatest items for their family’s welfare. Sure, if the money was available for the average person to buy the newest “gee whiz” items all of the time, we would never have to worry about TEOTWAWKI, because by the time we have finally gotten through all the fancy gear once, we would be dead of old age. In response to an outdoor sports catalog that I brought over, my mother said to me, “American’s will all starve to death, but they will look good while they do it.”

Of course, I was raised poor. I knew it, because there is plenty of people in this world who are more than happy to remind a guy of it. You did not ruin … Continue reading

Odds ‘n Sods:

Former Congressman DARES Loretta Lynch to Prosecute Him in Scathing Rant – Submitted by RBS

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One key point that can be concluded from the San Bernardino terrorist attack is this: The attack took place soon after an argument at a social event, but the Farook couple already had some bombs prepared, and the parts to build more. So it is likely that they were a sleeper cell and that self-activated, ahead of schedule. I suspect that they were actually intended to be part of much larger simultaneous attacks–perhaps even by dozens of sleeper cells–all across the country, at a later date. That attack is very likely still in the works. Be vigilantly prepared for a defensive response locally, folks! Be armed. – JWR

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A consulting client in the UK asked me about the availability of the Rawles XL Voyager knife, which … Continue reading

How to Use Paddle Wire for Survival by Prepper Ray

A couple of weeks ago one of my prepper friends stopped by and said: “Check this out” he hands me a small spool of green wire. I was intrigued, what is it? Trip wire? Snare wire? “It’s both and much more,” he said. After he told me a few of the ways it could be used, it became clear to me that Paddle Wire was the one missing component in my survival gear. If you don’t have a good supply of Paddle wire or never even heard of it, you wouldn’t be alone. Paddle wire is a low-cost 22 to 24 gauge green enamel coated florist’s wire. It’s used in the making of floral arrangements. paddle4Typically it comes on 100′ rolls and it is commonly available at any … Continue reading

Pat Cascio’s Product Review: Cold Steel’s Survival Edge

For many years, I’ve looked that the Cold Steel web site as well as their printed catalogs, and saw among their fixed blade knifes a survival-type knife, with a hollow handle – called the “Survival Edge” and I just didn’t understand why it was in the line-up. To my mind, it just looked like a “cheap” hollow handle survival knife – one that doesn’t really belong in the Cold Steel line of fantastic knives. Lynn Thompson (Cold Steel’s owner) and I have been friends since the early 1900s and if there is one thing we have learned about each is the fact that we can always be open and honest with each other – never taking offense at each other’s comments or thoughts. So, I never really wanted to order the Survival Edge, thinking that my testing would result in a poor article on the knife.

One day, I … Continue reading

Base Layers and Their Differences – Part 2, by A.S.

If you recall from the first installment of this article which was posted early this month, I discussed the start of base layering principle which I am sure most people are very familiar with–especially those who read this blog. I also brought up the types of material used such as Polypropylene, Merino wool and the new fibre Tencel. In this installment I want to break down some information on the other layers involved and give my thoughts from long time use of garment materials that work in longevity.

Goretex jackets are great for hikers and for those who take trips you maybe10 or 15 times a year in the great outdoors, but they are not suited for day-in, day-out wear/ This because once the waterproofing membrane has worn down by either rubbing on pack straps or other wear points such as where a [holster or] knife sheath is attached, … Continue reading

Letter Re: Trail Shelters and the Hantavirus Threat by Zac T.

Hello All,

In an effort to remove oneself from the vectors in a trail shelter I’d suggest never going in to a trail shelter… Carry and bring your own solution with you. After hiking for 10 hours, nobody is going to break out their N95 mask and wet mop down a shelter to remove the virus risk. The best someone can hope for is to remove themselves from the now known threat and avoid the pests causing it.

Hennessy hammocks come complete with a rain fly and mosquito netting that you zip yourself in for the night. No bugs, and no mice. However, some people can’t comfortably sleep in them, some can. It is best to figure this out before shelling out the cash. Once you borrow and try one, carrying a complete solution for camping out replacing your tent for a hammock is a good bet. What I … Continue reading

Hypothermia: Prevention, Identification, and Treatment, by Stonecold

Hypothermia is a condition wherein the core body temperature drops from its “normal” temperature, with normal being between 97.7 and 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit. Some symptoms, in order of increasing seriousness, are cold extremities, mild shivering, mental confusion, muscle incoordination, severe shivering and shaking, combativeness, paradoxical undressing, and cardiac arrest. A drop in core body temperature of as little as three degrees can result in these symptoms and eventually lead to death.

Hypothermia should be a concern with anyone who lives in Western Washington, given our wet, temperate climate. Its prevention, identification, and treatment must be in the forefront of our minds while operating outdoors for periods longer than one hour; it is as important as proper hydration and nutrition. Hypothermia will not only decrease your individual readiness, it will also affect team readiness, as a team member with hypothermia will divert resources from the team’s operational capability. A five-person … Continue reading

Building Skills While Paying the Bills: Carving Time to Hone, by Scouter Dad JEB

The Greek philosopher Aristotle– teacher of Alexander the Great (a title given later in life and probably not while he was a student)– is quoted as saying, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” This statement applies in many areas in life, but perhaps it rings most true with the prepper/survivalist community. As a budding prepper/survivalist with three young children, the most valued commodity in our family is time. Hours of dedication spent skipping lunch breaks at the corporate office to stay employed, followed by the children’s after-school activities, make time for prep and survival as unrealistic as reading Tolstoy’s War and Peace. However, this year is different; I am going to read it, right? So what advice can I provide to others who share my plight for building survival skills while fighting hectic schedules and rush hour traffic? Following are some … Continue reading