Staying Sane (and Happy) at Your Winter BOL, by Mrs. Icebear

I laughed my way through the entertaining and informative (even for me – I had no theoretical knowledge of waxing skis whatsoever, just did “what the other kids did”) recent article on the “exotic Norwegian” cross country skis. So I thought that maybe a couple of other Norwegian experiences might be of interest to survivalblog-readers: Having lived the first 30 years of my life in Norway and had ample experience with both skiing and offgrid living as a part of everyday life, I have some personal tips on not just surviving offgrid, but actually having a good time even though: …




Winter 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 Tips for Surviving Outside in Extreme Weather and Subfreezing Temperatures Every year people get lost in the backcountry near where I live in the High Sierras, and end up spending one or more unplanned nights outside in the snow and extreme cold. Some of those folks live to tell the tale, and some of them don’t. Hopefully you will never need to spend unexpectedly long hours outside in extreme weather, but in case you do, here are a few tips: …




Letter Re: Dealing With Biting and Stinging Insects

Dear James, Those of us who live in the Southeast are constantly dealing with ticks and chiggers.  Sometimes the old-timers have the best ideas.  We were told that ticks and chiggers hate Vick’s VapoRub.  It really works!  Before getting dressed, rub the Vick’s VapoRub on the back of your knees, your ankles, and anywhere else you know they are going to go.   But we found there are two more things you need to do to repel ticks and chiggers.   1.  Wash your clothes in this recipe.  Most of the conventional laundry detergents, and fabric softeners have heavy perfumes.  Bugs …




Three Letters Re: Dealing With Biting and Stinging Insects

Jim: I’d like to recommend the best chigger bite treatment: Put some rubbing alcohol on tissue paper and lightly rub this on the chigger bite as soon as possible. Hold in place for at least half a minute to kill germs. Then immediately rub a piece of ice on the bite for a few minutes to reduce swelling. This will eliminate pain and swelling by 99%.  After getting hundreds of chigger bites over the years, this is the best method I’ve found. – Paul O. James, One thing to add about chiggers, or red bugs. I got these on my …




Dealing With Biting and Stinging Insects by K.F.

Being “bugged” by insects is a problem we will likely face in TEOTWAWKI. Americans will spend more time outdoors in an effort to gather food and fuel as well as hunt and guard their retreat and resources. Exposure to insects will increase exponentially. Our defenses against pests will diminish significantly as our homes and retreats have their windows and doors left open more often. Also, the commonly available pesticides will probably not be available as supplies (of all kinds) decrease when TSHTF. We all know that insects have the potential to spread disease as well as lower our quality of …




What to Do if You’re Stung by a Striped Bark Scorpion, by Richard R.

Disclaimer: I have to say that I am not a physician and nothing I tell you is a substitute for good medical care. I am an RN with many years of experience in Emergency Room care, but that does not qualify me to advise you in medicine when there are Emergency Rooms all over the USA with qualified physicians on duty to take care of your health problem. The things I’m going to tell you only apply in a TEOTWAWKI situation. Use any information I am going to give you at your own risk. That being said, what do you do …




Letter Re: Four-Tier Survival for the Newbie

James, Thanks so much for all you and your family do to keep survivalblog.com going. It is a daily read for me. Upon reading “Four-Tier Survival for the Newbie,” I reminisced about what my father would say to me while I was initially preparing my bug-out bag:  “Son, you are preparing for luxury. Back when I was a boy during the Depression we used to go out camping with just the clothes on our backs, our pocket knife and a potato in our pocket. We took a potato ’cause we generally couldn’t ‘find’ potatoes.” Being in my mid-fifties now, I …




Four-Tier Survival for the Newbie, by C.H.

A little about me: I am 27 years old, I have been married to my wife for 7 years. We have two boys, ages six and 22 months. Both my wife and I are school teachers; I also coach football and power lifting. So, we are the epitome of the American middle class. I have always enjoyed hunting, camping and the outdoors. So I have developed some basic “outdoorsman” skills throughout my youth and early adult hood. As a young child and early teen, I was very interested in survival, homesteading, and living off the land. I remember reading Foxfire …




Skis for Creating Winter Survival Options: The Norwegian Edge, by 60 Degrees N., in Norway

Norwegians know winter. It’s ingrained in their culture. In 2002 this country of under 5 million ranked first in Olympic gold medals and third overall. Imagine Colorado, and only people born in Colorado, doing this and you begin to realize what an accomplishment this is. Ask a Norwegian to name the top items needed for a winter emergency and they will likely not mention skis (cross country skis). The reason for this omission is obvious, at least to a Norwegian. With skis, a situation would be far less likely to be considered an emergency.  On moving to Norway 10 years …




Letter Re: One Approach at a EDC Get Home Bag

Hi James, I have gone through many variants of a BoB or EDC Bag over the years, and feel that I’ve found a really good setup for a “covert” EDC bag that can function as a get home bag (GHB) more so than a BoB.  It doesn’t draw unwanted attention to carrier, but provides what I think is essential to EDC.   As a summary, I am using a 5.11 Covrt Backpack as my bag.  It provides all the needs I want in a “tactical” bag but doesn’t scream “HEY LOOK!! I have a MOLLE bag with a bunch of …




Letter Re: Advice on Washing Military Utility Uniforms

CPT Rawles: The product that I use is half Twenty Mule Team Borax (contains no brighteners) and half Baking Soda (removes all scents). Military snipers use the same as they can’t warrant be sniffed out by an animal and giving away their position. I use it for hunting purposes for the same reason, and it works great. It also a little less expensive than paying big dollars for Sport Wash. Regards, – James R.




Pat’s Product Review: Hoo Rag Bandanas

My dear friend, the late Chris Janowsky, who ran the World Survival Institute, in Tok, Alaska was famous for always wearing a bandana on his head. And that bandana wasn’t just a fashion statement. Chris wasn’t a fashion trendsetter in the least. Janowsky was, probably the best wilderness survival instructor in the world. The US Marine Corps sent their winter survival instructors to Chris for their training, and in return, those instructors would train US Marines in winter wilderness survival techniques. Now, if the US Marines thought so highly of Janowsky, that says it all in my book. As an …




Wilderness Fire Making: We Have Ignition, by Brad M.

I have been a scoutmaster for 18 years. It is a lot of fun teaching scouts how to make fire using unorthodox methods.  Seeing the look in their eyes as they get their first fire built in the outdoors using no matches is a great experience.  As a matter of fact, in winter camps where the ground is not frozen I like to use a trench fire pit with rocks in it, then bury it and sleep on top for a very cozy and warm night. I too was bitten by the survival bug when I was a young scout, …




Into Bear Country, by George F.

As a result of moving into remote retreat areas, you may begin to have encounters with North America’s bear population. Even in suburban/urban areas, a lack of hunting and the return of forests has seen bears make a comeback, raising the likelihood of a bear-human encounters. Even if you live somewhere with a low likelihood of bear encounters, you should know the proper actions and make preparations, because bears can turn up anywhere. I’m going to outline the steps for bear camping, keeping your homestead secure from bears, traveling in bear country, tactics for a bear encounter, and bear defenses …




Pat’s Product Review: Emberlit Camp Stove

I’d like to believe that after Earth for more than 61 years, that I’m getting a little bit smarter in my old age. Well, maybe not smarter, but a bit wiser, might be a better description. There was a time, not too many years ago, when I could hump 50-pounds around the boonies, with a full-set of A.L.I.C.E. gear and a full combat load of ammo and some manner of AR-15. Those days are long gone! However, I’m actually in better shape physically these days, than I was 10 years ago, but that doesn’t mean that I want to pack …