Deep Winter Prepping, by Ronald in Alberta

I live on a small ranch in Northern Alberta, Canada. I’m approximately a half hour drive to the nearest small town, and the winters here can be tremendous. I’ve always taken a slightly different approach to preps than most of my American counter parts, because most energy, food, shelter, water and defense advice floating around the Internet is not cold weather viable. In this short paper I will attempt to relay to you, the reader, the importance of being ready for winter in all aspects of survival. This is a short collection of some thoughts and experiences I’ve had living …




Letter Re: Query on Knife Recommendations

Mr. Rawles, Could you recommend a style of survival knife? I’ve read several recommendations by various people — everything from a K-Bar to a parang. My wife and I are newcomers to the survival game, but as a hunter and outdoorsman I tend to favor a good, short, fixed-blade (drop point) Buck knife, augmented by a decent folding saw. Are these good choices, or should we really look for a versatile (if not “do-it-all”), long-bladed knife with a partially serrated edge? I’m a bit skeptical of hacking / sawing through things such as tree limbs with a knife, and equally …




Lessons from Hiking the Grand Canyon, by Andy in New England

A successful trek is “won or lost” before it even begins. Having the right quantities of food, water, and first aid, proper gear and adequate physical fitness will determine if a hiker is able to complete a trip as planned, and respond to the unexpected along the way. This past June, my wife and I hiked the Grand Canyon rim-to-rim. Over the course of this four day, thirty-mile hike, we learned many valuable lessons that can be applied to a grid-down scenario where long-range foot travel is needed to bug-out, explore, or patrol large land areas. I’m thankful to have …




The Other Use of Wild Edible Food, by Linda Runyon

I am a wild food author who lived it for years while homesteading in the Adirondacks of upstate New York, and I lived on wild food for many years after that during my teaching days. I still eat wild food today in retirement. YES.  Wild food is abundant, nutritious, healthy, easy-to-use and, best of all, free! This is important to know, and it’s an important cognition to have early on the way to becoming proficient with it. Having your eyes opened to the fact that it is everywhere must, of course, come before starting the journey that ends with being …




Three Letters Re: Bad as a Bullet: Tick and Mosquito-Borne Diseases

James:  I live in Tennessee where mosquitoes, chiggers, and ticks thrive.  There are two wet weather ponds near my home and if I go to my shooting range in the evening or early morning, the mosquitoes will make any quality time really miserable.  While working in the gardens and fields, one has to be constantly checking themselves for ticks.   Last year about April I read a short paragraph in Countryside Magazine from a gentleman (I believe from Maine) that has taken a Vitamin B1 tablet starting in April and takes them every day until the first killing frost in the Fall for the past …




Bad as a Bullet: Tick and Mosquito-Borne Diseases, by D.K., DVM

We have SCUBA friends from Canada who do a lot of camping, and one year the wife came down with a debilitating illness that put her out of work for many months.  The medical system there did not make it easy to consult a specialist, especially one familiar with arthropod-borne diseases.  She showed all the symptoms of Lyme disease, including weakness, fever, sore joints, lethargy, headaches, and muscle aches.  Plus she had been exposed to ticks while camping.  She suffered for over a year before she slowly recovered.  Though it was never confirmed to be a tick-borne illness, odds are …




Tornado Survival Tips, by Mat Stein

NOTE: This article is adapted from my book When Disaster Strikes: A Comprehensive Guide for Emergency Planning and Crisis Survival. Who could not be shocked and saddened by the images of massive devastation left in the wake of recent tornadoes that struck in Oklahoma and Texas? Though nothing can guarantee absolute safety in the path of a tornado, outside of a shelter with reinforced concrete and steel walls, understanding something about the nature of tornadoes, safety tips for surviving a tornado strike, and which common folklore is to be trusted or ignored, will improve your chances for making the right …




Pat’s Product Review: B.A.S.E. Ultimate Survival Kit

I hear from SurvivalBlog readers on a daily basis. I hear from a lot of you. I take the time to answer each e-mail I receive, too. I don’t want anyone thinking I’m ignoring them. Many times, I hear from readers, just thanking me for a particular product I reviewed, and they purchased, and found it to be exactly as I said it was. A lot of e-mails are “fan” letters of a sort, and I’ve made some new friends because of these e-mails. Although I don’t consider myself as any sort of celebrity, and I’m certainly no expert – …




Letter Re: Details Emerging on the Outlaw Maine Hermit

Hey Jim, This guy lived within 30 miles from me for 27 years. An interesting story to be sure. I’d like to bail him out just for the chance to talk but for $5,000 it would be too expensive. This is not wilderness. It is a 30 minute walk from Pine Tree Camp – I have been there a few times. My buddy in high school worked there as a cook. Here is some news coverage about him, from another source. Keep up the good work. – Bubby JWR Replies: After you wrote me to mention this, I found an …




Letter Re: Hard Working Homeless in Kansas Dug Tunnels

James, A brief article I saw on underground homeless camp in Kansas: Underground homeless camp cleared near the East Bottoms. Although the article does not give much detail, I find it an interesting use of space, staying out of the way and a lesson to learn regarding people who may be close to your proximity without one even knowing it.  It also drew my mind back to the Bielski partisans and the camps they dug in Naliboki Forest. God Bless, – John in Ohio




Winter Outdoor Survival Lessons Learned, by Jim N.

Darkness was rapidly settling in, I was soaking wet, and the temperature was falling as fast as the snow.  There were still about 8 miles of very rough country between me and my truck and I was flat out smoked from hiking all day in deep snow at high elevation.  I realized I could not hope to navigate by headlamp the many blow down trees and steep canyon walls that separated me from my truck in my current condition.  While I realized the seriousness of my situation, I was not particularly worried and silently thanked the Lord I had practiced …




Odds ‘n Sods:

Reader R.B.S. was the first of several readers to send this: Colorado Democrat Doesn’t Understand High-Capacity Magazines Can Be Reloaded. This tells us something about the (ahem) caliber of those in Colorado’s ruling party… In my estimation Representative DeGette has put herself on a par with Congressman Hank Johnson, who was convinced that the island of Guam was floating like a raft and if it became too populated that it could capsize. Oh and speaking of geographic ignorance, let’s not forget Henry Waxman‘s brilliant understanding of the oceanic ice cap at the North Pole.    o o o A reminder …




Letter Re: Fire: Your Partner in Survival

Dear JWR: The excellent article, “Fire: Your Partner in Survival, by Pledger” mentioned the BTU ratings of certain trees. Wanting to know a bit more, I did some searching and found a chart of the BTU ratings of various types of wood. On another note, Pledger’s reference to a cord as 4×8 feet by 16 inches threw me. I looked it up and found that a “full cord” measures 4x4x8 feet, which is the number I was familiar with, ranging from 80 to 100 cubic feet stacked. The web site I found uses 90 cubic feet for its BTU ratings. …




Fire: Your Partner in Survival, by Pledger

Eons ago when people lived in caves, one of their most important tools was fire.  Its ability to keep them warm, cook food, provide light, and scare away predators was of the utmost importance.  Some kind of a societal upheaval may not necessarily mean returning to a stone age existence, but when the systems that keep our everyday life humming along go down, fire will once again have a huge impact on our ability to survive. This fact was brought home to my wife and me two winters ago, when a February blizzard knocked out the power to several counties.  …




Some Alaska Outdoor Survival Experiences, by M.C.R.

Preparedness is a mental state and  where I live it is extremely unforgiving if you are not ready. I travel the bush in the state of Alaska as a telecommunication technician which means I travel mostly in small commercial planes or in bush planes along with helicopters, boats and once in a while via snowmobiles (called “snow machines” here) to get to the native villages. This happened to me in the mid-1980s when Exxon was drilling in Arctic Ocean on a drilling rig called a Concrete Island Drilling Structure (C.I.D.S.). Exxon had chartered a helicopter company to fly supplies and personnel …