Top Six Outdoor Survival Skills, by Jonathan Gardner

I love searching the Internet and libraries for bushcraft and outdoor survival-related videos and books. Now I have something to tell you. Many of these lists you read are wrong. If you do a search, there will be a general consensus of the top five skills being Shelter, water, fire, and so forth. I’m going out on a limb in reporting that they are wrong. Not all wrong, but it is not what you should study. Most of the listed are not skills. Water is not a skill, I’m not going to give you a tutorial on how to make …




Seven Steps to Survival, by Allen A.

Back in the day, when my hair was a different colour, the Seven Steps to Survival was part of the survival course that I taught.  This article will discuss those steps and how I applied them in a recent survival event that I found myself in. RECOGNITION Simple as it may sound the first step to surviving is to identify and accept that you have a problem and that it is serious.  Denial of your situation or the refusal to accept how serious it is can get you killed or injured.  Without acknowledging the nature and seriousness of the situation …




Cold Weather Considerations – Part 5, by JM

(Continued from Part 4.) Water Staying hydrated when performing any strenuous activity in the winter is critical, since dehydration can cause you a whole host of problems. One big issue is that dehydration can reduce your appetite, and I’ve mentioned before how critical calories are to staying warm. However, there are a number of factors that are harder to overcome in the winter when it comes to staying hydrated: Our thirst reflex tends to be reduced in the winter, which means we tend to drink less water Water can be harder to obtain, process and transport Water tends to freeze …




Cold Weather Considerations – Part 4, by JM

(Continued from Part 4.) Sleeping Once you’ve got your shelter set up you’ll probably want to get some sleep. You need to start with ensuring you’re as insulated from the cold ground as possible. Earlier I mentioned that if there’s snow on the ground that can actually help insulate you, since snow is mostly air. Another trick is to place leaves or pine boughs down before you lay down your tent’s ground cloth/footprint to add another layer of insulation. Next you’re going to want some kind of sleeping pad to increase your comfort and add even more insulation. Companies like …




Cold Weather Considerations – Part 1, by JM

(Note: This Part 1 of a six-part series.) If you live in the northern hemisphere then it’s that time of the year when things are getting cold and, depending on how far north you live, covered in white stuff. Around Thanksgiving I start planning my various winter outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, skiing and snowshoeing trips, and I thought it would be a good time to review some considerations for surviving and operating in winter conditions. Why would anyone want to be outside in the cold and snow? Because in a post-disaster scenario you may not have a choice, …




Outdoor Survival: Of Belts and Tins, by Randy in S.C.

M1 Garand cartridge belts and Altoids tins are a match made in prepper’s heaven. You may already have some of these vintage items gathering dust. If not, they are easy to find. Together they can be a literal lifesaver, more capable than smaller survival kits and far less bulky than the typical bugout bag. The M1 cartridge belt is an adjustable canvas belt with 10 snap-closure pockets, each measuring approximately 3 ¾” x 2 ¾” x 1”. It was standard issue from about 1910 until the full adoption of the M14 rifle in the late 1950s. The belt was originally …




When Kids are Old Enough to Prepare, Part 2, by M.K.

(Continued from Part 1. This part concludes the article.) Teach By Reading and Watching Books My youngest son loves to read. My oldest will do it when he has to. One way I get them both on board with reading is by finding them books to read that keep them engaged and that is often with a book about the outdoors. As we all know, books can be both entertaining and educational. The best way to teach your kids through books is to find ones that are both! I know that Bear Grylls is a polarizing personality in the survival …




Using and Maintaining Imco Lighters, by A.C.C.

I am writing with a bit of information that fellow readers might find helpful: We all agree that possessing the means to make fire is important. I suspect that like me, lots of you have put back a supply of disposable butane cigarette lighters. In a grid down world, they would make great barter items. I have always thought it would be nice to also have some “Old School” liquid fuel lighters, as well. For years, I carried a Zippo lighter, but it was frustrating because the fuel evaporated so quickly that unless I refueled it at least every other …




Mountain Man EDC, by S.J.

What figure looms larger in the prepper imagination that the rugged mountain man? Let’s examine the contents of their packs and saddle bags for our own purposes and to inspire all of us to get back to basics. In the romanticized image, the mountain man is the ultimate minimalist, with nothing but his rifle and tomahawk, but this isn’t entirely correct, as mountain men would have had quite a bit more in their kit, especially at the base camps they operated from. We’ll find that their kits remains relevant today, even with technological advances. The Mountain Man’s EveryDay Carry Rifle …




The Blizzard of 2003, By 97B40

It was 2003 and we needed the moisture, so I was glad to learn that snow was in the weather forecast. Our part of the state got most of its precipitation in March and April, so I was optimistic. I should have been more precise about what I wished for. My wife had flown to Los Angles a couple of days before for business, and I looked forward to hiking or snowshoeing with our three dogs and relaxing. Our Colorado Rocky Mountain Blizzard Story On March 17th snow began falling in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. At 7,000 feet in the foothills, …




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

“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 …




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

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. …




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 …




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 …




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 …