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 …




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 …




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 …




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 …




Odds ‘n Sods:

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




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 …




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 …




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 …