“Surviving” an Airedale– Lessons From a First-Time Owner – Part 1, by S.M.

Our adventure in Airedale parenthood has been rewarding, educational, and reinvigorating. This breed is not for the faint of heart; they are active, tenacious, self-directed, and the strongest 65-pound animal I’ve ever experienced. With careful consideration, proper training, and responsible puppy parenting, you can enjoy the same incredible journey we’ve had. After the passing of our beloved Boxer, we longed to add another canine addition to our family. We knew we wanted a larger dog again and wanted a dog with spunk similar to that of our Boxer. Having still another elderly dog, as well as a small dog and a new grandbaby, we began researching for that perfect addition to our family.

We came across a book by Mr. Rawles. After reading that he recommended Airedales as a favorable family dog and addition to your arsenal of preps, or weapons so to speak, I decided to do extensive … Continue reading



Letter Re: onPoint Tactical Course

Hugh and Jim,

I won the opportunity to attend one of the onPoint Tactical courses through the SurvivalBlog writing contest. However, I knew my 23-year-old son would get a lot more out of it than I, and Kevin Reeve (owner) graciously allowed Luke to attend in my place. He couldn’t have been more grateful for all he learned in the Basic Scout course.

He spent hours telling the rest of the family of all he learned, and we all practiced some of the skills. (Luke has practiced a lot more than the rest of us.) And Luke immediately started making plans to attend the Advanced Scout course, which he would have to pay for himself. This is coming from a full-time student (fortunately on full ride scholarship) who works part time and is also building a tiny house for himself on our property, all without carrying any debt. He doesn’t … Continue reading



Letter Re: Fitness for Success When the SHTF

Sir,
I agree with most of what J.P.M. has said about fitness. But I think doing large numbers of sit ups are bad for the spine. Listen to what this guy says in this video. – Mr. Sport

JWR Replies: HJL and I agree that “crunches” rather than “sits ups” are the more appropriate exercise for most people of all ages. Not only are they inherently less damaging, but they also tend to be better for your back and can target the abdominal muscles more effectively. (That is, depending on how you position your hands and feet during crunches.)



Plyometrics Training Equals Survivability, by Molon Labe

This is a commonly accepted fact in the world of preparedness: The better you are able to traverse difficult terrain or navigate dangerous scenarios, the more options you’ll have and the better overall odds you’ll have of coming out on top. However, mobility means more than being in good shape and having a bug out bag. It is the ability to make a split-second decision and stick to it, to think on your feet. All the fitness in the world won’t help you if you don’t decide to escape before being surrounded and cut off. It means taking advantage of the possibilities before they disappear. It’s not going to do you a lick of good to be able to run 10 miles with your combat/survival load if you don’t have the ability to see a trap ahead and have the guts to act on it. Those who live in the cities … Continue reading



Letter Re: Keep Your Bicycle Running in Tough Times, by S.H.

Dear Editor

S.H provided an excellent reminder of a vital survival and prepper resource: the bicycle. I would like to add a few points. Commuters, tourists, and utility riders carry loads over various distances and terrain at non-athletic pace, so look to their example.

When selecting a bicycle, look for standard components such as tire size. MTB 26″ and Hybrid/touring style 700c are both common sizes. 29″ is the same as 700c. 27″ is not the same as 700c but may be your local standard for a similar fast/utility wheel. Bike shops now sell MTBs in 27.5″, which is a new standard (based on a boutique French size). It is non-standard and best avoided for prepper use. Folding bikes are never as strong but useful for vehicle carry. 20″BMX tire is std.

Avoid transmissions with very high number of rear sprockets. 8 or 9 is good. … Continue reading



Letter: Grain Milling Muscles

JWR and HJL:

We bought a grain mill—the Wonder Mill Junior to be specific–from one of your advertisers and we are pleased with the purchase. However, I must warn my fellow readers that if you have bought one of these and just threw it on the shelf alongside your the stack of #10 cans and food storage buckets, then you made a mistake. Unless you regularly start your Ford Model T with a hand crank, then you are in for a morning-after surprise. This is another example of the importance of “practicing your preps.” A seven year old cannot turn the handle of my grain mill while holding the table in place. A 12 year old can do so. So can a 200-pound, 56 year-old male.

It is often suggested that our caloric intake will have to increase during TEOTWAWKI. Grinding wheat is an … Continue reading



Letter: What You “Learn” Can Kill You

HJL,

My name is Mark and I’m a Prepper. Sounds faintly like how you’d introduce yourself at an AA meeting, but even though I’m afflicted by the Prepping bug it’s not a disease like most of America would want you to think. Most of my family years ago were farmers and poor backwoods people. So prepping was the only way to survive the harsh winters after the short growing seasons. I fell into it easily being raised to hunt and raise a garden. When the last administration was installed in 2009 I saw what was happening. And being former military, I recognized it for what it was, after I had seen what had previously happened overseas. Even though I was well past my prime it drove me to harden my body and bring my skill sets up to par again. I began by jogging and eventually settled on bicycling as … 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



Four Exercises To Stay In Shape While Holed Up, by Zac T.

As a brief introduction about me, aside from being an MPH student, I am an exercise physiologist and personal trainer. When I am not correcting peoples’ form and working in cardiac rehab, I spend my spare time backpacking, lifting weights, and reading economics books.

Let’s say that you were a prepper. I say “were” because, for the point of this article, The Big Event has already happened, and now you’re not so much prepping as you are surviving. You stockpiled food, medicine, water, and ammunition. You read all the books. You built a secret retreat. Now there’s not much for you to do but to wait the whole thing out.

Unfortunately, you’re going to have to do all of this sitting out while stuck between the same ol’ four walls for yet another day, and slowly, day by day, as your activity levels drop to a bare minimum while … 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



The Mindset and Experience of a Single Competent Female Prepper, by Skylar

For the majority of my adult life– 34 years– I have taught, lived, worked, and recreated in wilderness settings. I appreciated JMS’s call for articles from single female preppers, as it has been a frustration of mine for many years. My early years were spent trying to prove that women can be effective and competent in a survival setting without having to become “one of the guys” or Rambo-esque. It took me a couple of tries before I found an organization to work for that shared this view. I spent the next 10 years working for Outward Bound, and I have loved the experience it brought. Both genders need to be able to step in and out of whatever role is needed, at any given time. I think it is a huge, possibly detrimental, mistake to get stuck in gender-driven roles.

So, one of my first pieces of advice I … Continue reading



How To Survive Without Your Glasses, by J.E.

“Ralph made a step forward and Jack smacked Piggy’s head. Piggy’s glasses flew off and tinkled on the rocks. Piggy cried out in terror: ‘My specs! One side’s broken.” – William Golding, Lord of the Flies, Chapter 4

In the classic dystopian novel “Lord of the Flies,” one of the main characters, Piggy, is virtually incapacitated when his spectacles are broken and stolen by the other boys stranded on the island. For those of us who wear glasses, Piggy’s plight is one that strikes close to home. If you are a glasses-wearer, you have no doubt included optometric equipment in your emergency inventory. Many of you may recall previous articles on SurvivalBlog that have addressed this issue at length, encouraging all wearers to look into Lasik and stockpile extra prescription glasses, contacts, and contact solution. These are excellent, practical strategies that we should all consider while … Continue reading



Seasonal Items and Survival Steps, by P.F.

It never ceases to amaze me when something seemingly trivial that occurs in my life can lead to so much self reflection and totally change the direction I travel, so to speak, in my life planning. I recently decided to purchase a spare, portable plug-in heater for my camper, in the interest of redundancy. So, off I went blissfully unaware that this simple, last-minute decision would alter the course of history, my history that is. I went to my local big-box store and soon realized an important issue I had never thought about before– seasonal items are difficult to find in the off season. I’m sure at this point you’re thinking, “No-DUH! Thanks for the update, Captain Obvious.” Well, no, I’m not an idiot (at least I’d like to think I’m not), but I guess I am guilty of being complacent. I have seen seasonal items come and go for … Continue reading



Getting Real About Physical Training, by R.G.

Many articles have been written here about the best way to get in shape and stay in shape to be ready for a major societal disruption up to and including TEOTWAWKI. None of them that I have ready have really taken into account the societal challenges and day to day retreat and retreat area conditions extant during a disruption. Sorry, but no matter how much you may enjoy it, and I am an endorphin junkie myself, you won’t be running even one mile per day, let alone eight or ten miles per. Any running will be a flat out mad dash– lungs bursting and heart racing sprint– to safety. You won’t be in running shoes, shorts, or sweats. It won’t be on a track, and if that sprint is more than 200 yards, you’re dead. How much adrenalin you can pump into your muscles … Continue reading



Survival Health and Fitness

There is a preparation we can all make that doesn’t required much money, much storage, or much expertise. Yet it should be a critical component of your readiness. Yes, it is your personal health and fitness. If you started 2014 with good intentions but haven’t had the success you hoped for, this article is for you. This commentary outlines the whys and hows of improving your health and fitness.

Survival Benefits to Improving Health and Fitness

Prevent ever needing, or even reverse the need for drugs that you may no longer be able to get when the SHTF. Statins (Crestor, Lipitor, Zocor) for cholesterol control are the most commonly prescribed drugs in the U.S. Blood pressure medicines (ACE inhibitors and diuretics) are the next most common. Metformin, to help mitigate diabetes, also makes the Top 10 list. How will you cope when your supply is gone? Fortunately these … Continue reading