“Buckshot” on Commercial Fur Trapping Versus Survival Trapping

In a TEOTWAWKI situation, being able to trap game is a very vital skill. The fresh meat would be a welcome addition to your stored food. But you may not want to alert others to your location by shooting. Trapping is a labor-efficient method of filling this vital need.

It is useful to understand fur trappers so that you don’t end up competing with them. A fur trapper’s goal is to get as much fur as quickly as he or she can. The goal to hit the hot spots hard and fast and beat the competition. Some guys run 2-to-3 dozen traps in the early morning before work. Most fur trappers are hobby trappers who take one or two weeks off work and run hard for that time. They could be running 100 traps or maybe 300 muskrat traps. Normally they operate out of a truck and may cover 100 or more miles a day.

A fur trapper tries to run in a circle around his base. He may run east side for a 100 mile loop for a week, then the next week north, the following week west, and the fourth week South. Or he may run a 100 mile loop of only the hottest spots in mind. There are several ways trap lines are run and there is no hard and fast rules. People are different and have different ways of doing things. But one thing to keep in mind a fur trapper hates to back track. Dead end roads that ends miles from a turn might be skipped. Most trappers are within 50 to 100 yards off the road. Remember “hard and fast” means the trapper doesn’t have time to be walking all day. Presently, fur prices are down and gas prices are up. This equals less miles on the commercial trap lines and many more opportunities for the food trapper.

In contrast to a fur trapper, a survival or food trapper wants to catch animals based on palatability rather than fur value. This will solve a lot of problems because the better tasting animals are easier to trap than fox or coyotes. A real advantage is that a food trapper can set up his area for long term use. Meaning harvesting enough to eat but not wipe out the animals so that each year there are animals to harvest for food. A easy example with beaver trapping is taking two per hunt. This can turn into a yearly guarantee of food and fur.

As survival trapper you want to harvest the animals quietly in out of the way places. With rising living expenses this a truly practical skill, although regulations vary widely from state to state. Buy a trapping license and get out there. Every pound of meat you bring home is more dollars in your pocket. Experience is the best teacher. I have taught thousands and thousands of students personally and through my videos. Most make catches in their first night. You name the top survival instructors and I can guarantee I have taught some of his students how to trap and snare with professional grade self locking snares.

Proviso: Don’t go out and try illegal trapping methods before TEOTWAWKI or you will risk heavy fines and jail time. In a real emergency what can a dozen cam lock snares do for you? Pre-Y2K, I sold one dozen cam locks and a survival snaring video to a fellow in Mexico. In June of 2000 he contacted me and said, “Thank you for your snares and snaring video.” I asked why he made the expense of calling me long distance with a thank you. He said, “Well, you have to understand that for the last three years I was at my deer camp and never shot a deer. This year getting ready for Y2K I took your snares and gave them a try in less then a week I took 11 deer.” You name anything else that can catch you an estimated 1,650 pounds of venison without firing a shot for under $50 (for the dozen the cam locks and DVD.) No other product can do this. Silent, deadly, working “24/7”. I call that a deal. 1,650 pounds of venison for under $50 works out to a little more then .03 cent a pound live weight. Now please read this carefully: Snaring deer is illegal everywhere in The United States. If you get caught you will be subjected to heavy fines and maybe jail time. Do not do this unless it is a true emergency. Don’t go out and try it beforehand or you will risk heavy fines and jail time. (But once TEOTWAWKI happens there are no laws its the collapse of society and you will need to take care of your family.)

Squirrels, rabbits, ducks, pheasants, grouse and quail, can all be easily taken with a #110 conibear trap. Geese and turkeys can be taken with a #220 conibear trap. The conibear traps are awesome. They are well built and last for years. I used one last fall to trap a mink and muskrats that I originally bought when I was a teenager, back in 1975. Yes, 30 years ago. Now please read this carefully: Trapping game birds is illegal everywhere in The United States. For Rabbits and squirrels check your state game laws.

Another advantage to trapping/snaring is there are no gun shot wounds contaminating the meat. That will equal more meat in the pot. Learn to trap/snare now (if legal) in your state. Practice on raccoon, beaver, groundhogs, etc. The experience you learn now may will save your life when TEOWAWKI happens. Trapping and snaring teaches more then how to obtain food it also teaches you skills that may save your life. In the Viet Nam war one trapper wrote that because of his trapping skills he was able to spot booby traps set for his patrol. His trapping skills saved his life and the men around him. Another valuable plus in a uncertain world.

In closing, you should understand that a properly trained survivalist equipped with real snares and traps will out-produce any hunter alive. – “Buckshot”

JWR’s Comment: I have been a doing business with “Buckshot” Bruce for many years. His videos contain a wealth of knowledge that would take decades to re-create by trial and error. He also sells traps, snares, and scents at very reasonable prices. When you are allocating your retreat provisioning budget, you should seriously consider trapping. Trapping is far more efficient and much more covert than hunting. There are literally tons of protein on fours legs out there that can be harvested for your family and for charity, but only if you have the right tools and knowledge. For more information, see Buckshot’s site: http://www.buckshotscamp.com/Ent-BS-Camp.htm

Letter from “Dr. November” on Disinfecting Water

As far as disinfecting water, rather than bleach I’d recommend calcium hypochlorite (available as swimming pool chlorine or shock.) It’s somewhat cheaper, easier to use, doesn’t taste quite as bad (it’s what the military uses in large disinfection systems), and if you get a pool water test kit (the basic one) you can measure the residual chlorine. Just mix some calcium hypochlorite with water in a plastic squeeze bottle and add to the water you want to disinfect: Take a small sample out with the test kit and get something between 5 and 10 ppm (7-8 ppm is ideal.) A one-pound bag of calcium hypochlorite was around $5 at my local grocery store, and represents enough water to treat a good-sized swimming pool full of water (BTW, don’t drink swimming pool water unless it’s been recently replaced, and then only if you can filter it.)
For smaller quantities of water (backpacking) I like Polar Pure, and then my compressed carbon block (non-ceramic) filter. Ceramic filters can crack if they freeze, and are somewhat delicate. – Dr. November

Jim’s Quote of the Day:

“Survival depends a great deal on a person’s ability to withstand stress in emergency situations. Your brain is without doubt your best survival tool. It is your most valuable asset in a survival situation. It isn’t always the physically strong who are the most effective or better at handling fear in emergency situations. Survival more often depends on the individual’s reactions to stress than upon the danger, terrain, or nature of the emergency. To adapt is to live.” – Chris Conway, in The Attitude of Survival

Note from JWR:

I would greatly appreciate any further comments/corrections to the following article, particularly from our readers who are doctors. Special thanks to "Dr. November" who has already made some comments and additions. I have now made it available for widespread dissemination as a "free use" piece that can be e-mailed and posted to various forums. (See the new button in my blog site top bar.)

Protecting Your Family From an Influenza Pandemic

The emerging threat of the Asian Avian Flu Virus (AAV H5N1) brings into sharp focus the vulnerability of modern, highly mobile and technological societies to viral or bacterial infectious diseases. The last major Asian flu outbreak, (H2N2 in 1957, which killed 69,800 people in the United States) took five months to reach the United States. With the advent of global jet travel, it is now likely that highly virulent disease strains will be transmitted to population centers around the world in a matter of just a few days.

In this article, I will describe how you can protect yourself and your family from the next great pandemic. Although the likelihood of AAV H5N1 mutating into a strain that can easily be transmitted between humans is relatively low, the potential impact if this were to occur would be devastating. The current strain of the virus has a 58% lethality rate for humans. But even if AAV H5N1 turns out to be a “non-event”, in the next few decades there is a very high likelihood that some other disease will emerge and suddenly make a pandemic breakout. The odds are against us, because influenzas have tendency toward antigenic shift. Because influenzas are viral and are spread by casual person to person contact, the majority of the world’s population will be exposed in just a few weeks or months. Even today, more than 30,000 Americans die each year from flu complications–mostly the elderly and those with compromised immune systems.

Here are the key things that you need to do to protect yourself and your family, and to help restore order during a pandemic:

A.) Raise Your Immune Resistance

B.) Be Ready to Fight the Illness

C.) Avoid Exposure.

D.) Stockpile Key Logistics.

E.) Be Prepared to Dispense Charity From a Safe Distance

I will briefly discuss each of these requirements in this article. I will also be posting more detailed follow-up articles on each topic in my daily blog (web journal) at https://survivalblog.com

Raise Your Immune Resistance

There are two philosophies to fighting off influenza viruses. The first and mostly prevalent is to raise the body’s immune response. The other is to maintain normal immune response to prevent a collapse caused by over-response–a so called “cytokine storm”. While opinion is divided on this issue, I tend toward a strong immune response–particularly if combating a highly virulent illness.

To raise your immune resistance to disease it is important that you stop smoking. If you are a smoker you have already realized that you are much more susceptible to respiratory infections. Smokers are at high risk to develop complications. Get plenty of exercise, eat healthy foods, drink only in moderation, get plenty of sleep, and use top quality vitamin supplements. If you are overweight, you need to alter your diet get down to within five pounds of normal body weight. You need to change your diet for two important reasons: First, unhealthy foods weaken your immune system. Cut out refined sugar. Avoid candy, snack foods, soft drinks, and any processed foods with preservatives, artificial sweeteners, or MSG. Avoid store-bought meat, which is often tainted by the hormones and antibiotics used in commercial livestock feeds. Wild game or home-raised livestock is much healthier! Lastly, pray. Why? Anxiety is a form of stress that weakens the immune system, and prayer is a proven way to relieve anxiety and stress. And more importantly, as a Christian I believe that it is crucial to pray for God’s guidance, providence, and protection.

Be Ready to Fight the Illness

There are some symptoms that distinguish between colds and flus: Flus typically cause fever, chills, achy feeling (malaise), headaches, and extreme fatigue. Cold symptoms are usually restricted to the upper respiratory tract while flu symptoms tend to involve the entire body.

Influenzas tend to kill most of their victims in two ways: dehydration and lung congestion. Even the Avian flu, which is respiratory usually starts with stomach flu symptoms. Stomach flus usually induce diarrhea which rapidly dehydrates the victim. To fight this, you need to stock up on both anti-diarrhea medicines (such as Imodium AD–an anti-spasmodic) and electrolyte solutions such as Pedialyte. (The latter is available in bulk though large chain “warehouse” stores.) The various sports type drinks (such as Gatorade) can be used as oral rehydration solutions (ORSs) too. However, I prefer to dilute them about 50% with water, they have a lot of glucose in them which will exacerbate diarrhea symptoms.

If commercial ORSs are not available, I have read that you can make an emergency solution as follows:
• 1/2 teaspoon of salt
• 2 tablespoons honey, sugar, or rice powder
• 1/4 teaspoon potassium chloride (table salt substitute)
• 1/2 teaspoon trisodium citrate (can be replaced by baking soda)
• 1 quart of clean water

Imodium is a trade name for Loperamide. It can be purchased generically for relatively little cost, at such places as warehouse stores. The generic (house brands) are just fine. Stock up on Acetominophen (Tylenol) and Ibuprofen (Motrin) as well – for treating fevers. These two antipyretics can be taken together or on an alternating 4 hour schedule (take each every 4 hours but split them, for example at 8 AM take acetaminophen, at 10 AM take ibuprofen, etc. This makes it easier to monitor the patient and get them to drink fluids, if they’re up every 2 hours they will have to drink some fluids.) Either have a traditional glass thermometer for each person, or a digital thermometer with lots of disposable sleeves. The thermometers are a couple of bucks at the stores mentioned above. The sleeves are a buck or so per hundred. Don’t cross-contaminate your patients.

Because influenzas are viral rather than bacterial, most antibiotic drugs (antibacterials) are useless in combating them. If you suspect that you are coming down with influenza get bed rest! Too many people ignore their symptoms because “that project at work just has to get done.” Not only do they risk their own health, but they infect their co-workers! Liquids help ease congestion and loosen phlegm and are of course crucial to rehydration. Just a fever alone can double your body’s dehydration rate.

Respiratory flus such as the Asian Avian Flu kill with congestion. Buy a steam-type vaporizer. Stock up on expectorants containing guaifenesin as the main ingredient.

You will need to watch carefully for any symptoms of pneumonia develop. These include: difficulty or painful breathing, a grunting sound when breathing (quite distinct from the wheezing of bronchitis or the “barking” of croup), extremely rapid breathing, flaring nostrils with each breath, or coughing up rust-colored phlegm. Pneumonia can be a deadly complication of the flu and is the main cause of flu-related death. It is important to note that pneumonia is typically a co-infection that can be either viral or bacterial. In case of a bacterial pneumonia, antibiotics are crucial for saving lives. If it is viral, there is not much that can be done. While antibiotics can clear infection they cannot remove secretions. The patient must cough them all the way back up the respiratory tract. Do not use cough suppressants–anything with active ingredients like dextromethorphan or diphenhydramine. A “productive” (wet) cough that produces phlegm is a good thing! This is where you may need expectorants. One that works well is Robitussin (the original type of Robitussin without any capital letters after the name.) These are also available as generics, and quite cheap, so stock up. You should also read up on postural drainage and percussion techniques for chest secretion clearance–for instances when your patient cannot or will not cough effectively.

Avoid Exposure

Aside from being actually coughed or sneezed upon by an infected person, the most common way to catch the flu is by touching something which has been coughed on or sneezed upon by an infected person. For instance, the person that used the shopping cart before you had the flu. They covered their mouth with their hand when they coughed then used that very hand to push the cart around the store. Now your hands are touching the same place. Without thinking while shopping, you rub your eye or nose and you have introduce the virus to your most vulnerable point of infection. When you are out in public do NOT touch your eyes or nose. Wash your hands frequently to remove any germs you have picked up. Teach your children this as well.

Even though the chances of a full scale “nation busting” pandemic are small, the possibility definitely exists. The recent public statements by President Bush about considering the use of the military to enforce an Asian Avian flu pandemic quarantine are indicative that government officials are taking the threat seriously. A full scale pandemic that starts taking lives on a grand scale may then reasonably cause you to take some extreme measures to protect the lives of your family members. You can cut your chances of infection by more than half if you prepare to live in isolation (a strict “self quarantine”) for an extended period of time. You need to be prepared to avoid all contact with other people during the worst of the pandemic. The self quarantine period might last as much as three years, as successive waves of influenza sweep through the country. Think this through, folks. What would you need to do to successfully quarantine your family? Grab a clipboard and start making some prioritized lists.

History has shown that infectious diseases do their worst in urbanized regions So if you can afford to, make plans to move to a lightly populated region, soon. Where? Read my blog ( https://survivalblog.com) for some detailed recommendations, but in general, I recommend moving west of the Mississippi (because of the west’s much lighter population density) to a rural, agricultural region. When looking for a retreat locale, look outside of city limits and away from major highways that will serve as “lines of drift” for urban refugees. You are looking for a property that could serve as a self-sufficient farm–something over five acres, and preferably closer to 40 acres. In the event of a “worst case” pandemic situation, there is the possibility that power grid could go down. Even if your farm has well water, you may be out of luck. A home with gravity fed spring water is ideal, but uncommon. So you will either need to be able to pump well water by hand–only practical with shallow wells–or be prepared to treat water that you’ll draw from open sources: rivers, creeks, lakes, or ponds.

Plan to live at your retreat year-round. In the event of a full scale pandemic, the police and military will probably be ordered to enforce draconian quarantines of cities, counties, or perhaps entire states or regions. Having a well-stocked retreat is useless if you can’t get to it. Live there, and become accustomed to getting by self-sufficiently. Plant a big vegetable garden, using non-hybrid seeds. Raise small livestock that can forage on your own pasture. Get your digestive system accustomed to consumption of your bulk storage foods. Home school your kids. Develop a “hunker down” lifestyle with minimal trips to town. Each trip to town will constitute another opportunity for infection.

To make self-quarantine effective, it is essential that you are prepared to live in isolation for many months, and possibly years, to avoid contact and subsequent risk of infection. This can be practical for anyone that is retired or self-employed in an occupation that does not require regular face to face contact with clients or customers. (For example home-based mail order, self-publishing, recruiting, medical/legal transcription, or telecommuting.) But for anyone else it may mean having to quit your job and live off of your savings. So it is essential that you get out of debt and start building your savings, ASAP. If you can possibly change jobs to something that will allow isolation or semi-isolation, do so as soon as possible. For most of us in the middle class, this may mean “doubling up” with another family to share resources.

To protect yourself (at least marginally) from infected spittle, wear wrap-around goggles and buy or fabricate surgical style masks, in quantity. Note that even an N100 gas mask filter will not stop an airborne virus, since the viruses are too small. But at least a cloth mask will give you some protection from virus-laden spittle. Once the pandemic breaks out in your region, you won’t look out of place wearing these, even on a trip to the post office. Stock up on disposable gloves. Note that some individuals are allergic to latex. So do some extended wear tests before you buy gloves in quantity. Wear gloves whenever away from your retreat, and wash your hands frequently, regardless. Keep your hands away from your nose and eyes at all times. Stock up on soap and bottles of disinfecting hand sanitizer.

Stockpile Key Logistics

To make long term self quarantine effective you will need to buy a large quantity of long term storage food from a trustworthy vendor. Storage food is bulky and expensive to ship, so plan to buy locally or rent a truck and travel to a nearby state to pick up your storage food. In the eastern U.S., I recommend Ready Made Resources, of Tennessee. (See: http://www.ReadyMadeResources.com) In the western U.S., I recommend Walton Feed of Idaho. (See: http://www.WaltonFeed.com) It is also important to lay in extra food to dispense in charity–both to your neighbors and to any relatives that might end up on your doorstep at the 11th hour.

Stockpile fuel–firewood, home heating oil, or propane, plus fuel for your backup generator, vehicles and/or tractor. For liquid fuels, buy the largest tanks that you can afford to buy and fill, and that are allowable under your local fire code. If you heat with wood or coal, determine how many cords or pounds of coal you buy each winter and then triple that amount.

Build a sturdy gate to your driveway and get in the habit of keeping it closed and locked. It may sound far-fetched, but in the event or a “worst case” you may have to repel looters by force of arms. Buy plenty of ammo, zero your guns, and practice regularly. Hurricane Katrina showed how fragile our society is and how quickly law and order can break down in an emergency. Plan accordingly.

With the consent of your doctor and his prescription, you should stock up at least moderately on antibiotics such as penicillin and Ciprofloxacin (“cipro”) to fight co-infections. But they should only be used if it is abundantly clear that a co-infection has set in. (Again, watch for pneumonia symptoms.)

There are a few drugs that have been clinically proven to be useful in lessening the symptoms of viral influenzas, and shortening the duration of illness. These include Relenza (Zanamivir), Tamiflu (Oseltamivir phosphate), and Sambucol. These drugs are used immediately after the onset of flu symptoms. Of the three, Sambucol–a tincture of black elderberry– is probably the best. I predict shortages of these drugs in coming months, so stock up while they are still readily available!

Be Prepared to Dispense Charity From a Safe Distance

I already mentioned that it is important to lay in extra food to dispense in charity. I cannot emphasize this enough. Helping your neighbors is Biblically sound and builds trustworthy friendships that you can count on. To avoid risk of infection, you need to be prepared to dispense charity from a safe distance–without physical contact. Think: planning, teamwork, and ballistic backup. While your family’s food storage can be in bulk containers (typically 5 to 7 gallon food grade plastic pails), your charity storage food should mostly be in smaller containers. Or, at least buy some extra smaller containers that you can fill and distribute to refugees. Also be sure to lay in extra gardening seed to dispense as charity. Non-hybrid (“heirloom”) varieties that breed true are available from several vendors including The Ark Institute. (See: http://www.ArkInstitute.com.) By dispensing charity you will be helping to restore order and re-establish key infrastructures. The bottom line is that you’ll be part of the solution rather than part of the problem.

In closing, I highly recommend that you read Dr. Grattan Woodson’s monograph “Preparing for the Coming Influenza Pandemic”, available for free download at my blog site. Also see: http://www.fluwikie.com.

Postscript from SurvivalBlog.com Reader and Contributor “Dr. November“:

I’m not a big believer in Tamiflu (Oseltamivir) or the other neuraminidase inhibitors. It’s only demonstrated effect is to make the course of the flu slightly less long (on the order of 1-2 days less), but it has a critical requirement: IT MUST BE TAKEN within the first day or two of feeling ill. Most people (myself included) will just feel a little ‘off’ those first couple of days, or try to work through it. Tamiflu in this situation is pretty useless. Also, if someone is going to use it, they MUST have it on hand before they get sick: Getting the first symptoms, then deciding to call your physician and getting an appointment to get the prescription the week after next isn’t going to help. Finally, it’s pretty expensive (a standard 5 day adult dose is around $100 plus the physicians appointment.) It’s also going to be in short supply as people start trying to get it (similar to Cipro following the anthrax attacks and scares.) BTW, Mom’s old standby for respiratory infections (chicken soup) is as effective as oseltamivir. I doubt that it would be a good choice for an avian flu pandemic, though.

I was favorably impressed with a study done in Israel about the efficacy of Sambucol. At least, it’s not expensive and won’t hurt anything.
So, what should people do? In addition to the suggestions you’ve offered, I have a few more: If the pandemic strikes, and you can’t avoid going out among people, wear disposable gloves (they don’t have to be surgical or sterile.) You don’t know who last touched that … whatever (door knob, elevator button, etc.) Carry and use several pair, and learn how to take them off without touching the outsides (ask a medically trained individual to show you.) Keep your hands away from your mouth, nose and eyes! If your hands become contaminated, don’t transfer the virus to mucous membranes. Wash your hands often (and also, BEFORE and AFTER using public restrooms, then don’t touch the door knob on the way out – use an extra paper towel.) Hand sanitizer gels are OK but plain soap and water is fine too. If nothing else is available, a ‘dry wash’ (vigorously rubbing your hands as though you were soaping them up) is surprisingly effective in removing the outer dead layer of skin cells that harbor virus particles or bacteria. It won’t get rid of every single one (nothing will) but it’s a matter of odds – the fewer, the better.
Teach everyone (especially the dear little germ transport mechanisms we call children) to cough into their elbow or armpit – NOT to cover their face with their hands (and then what?) or use a tissue (and then what?) And to wash their hands afterwards.
I can commend a medical blog that has an excellent article (and link to a free New England Journal of Medicine article) on avian flu: http://medpundit.blogspot.com/2005/10/flu-bug-variations-everyone-seems-to.html and
http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/full/353/13/1363 – Dr. November

Proviso from James Wesley, Rawles: I’m not a doctor, and I don’t give medical advice. Mention of any medical device, treatment, drug, or food supplement is for educational purposes only. Consult your doctor before undertaking any treatment or the use of any drug, food supplement, or medical device. SurvivalBlog.com is not responsible for the use or misuse of any product mentioned.

Letter Re: Asian Avian Flu and Water Purification

Mr. Rawles:
You know when to start worrying, when a Government scientist says “There is no need to panic.” The UK government is stockpiling 14.6 million doses of ‘Tamiflu’ (see the BBC article here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/4344220.stm.

The question I have, after reading past posts on your site regarding AAV H5N1 flu, is whether there is any consensus on the appropriate medication/prevention supplement to get hold of, before everybody sells out? Especially, if anyone has specific sources in UK.

It may be that the advice from the Government will be to stay at home for an indeterminate length of time for the epidemic to ‘blow over’, do you have any info as to how long we should plan for, I’ve read 6 months? I plan to re think our family plans and start further building up of stores. I know it’s probably in Patriots but for general info could you remind your readers on long term water storage and the ?one drop of bleach to one pint/litre of water? Thanks, – Bob

JWR Replies: The most effective treatment will probably be Sambucol. (See the preceding article.) With your labyrinthine National Heath Service bureaucracy, I don’t know how you would obtain any in the UK. Perhaps through a private doctor. Or perhaps it is available without prescription in England.

Plan on “self quarantine” for a minimum of six months, and possibly as much as three years.

As for disinfecting water, the following advice come from the folks at Captain Tropic’s: “Normal household bleach can be used to kill germs in water, but will not kill tuberculosis germs.  Regular household bleach is a solution of 5.25% Sodium Hypochlorite and 94.75% inert ingredients.  The bleach I want you to use should be standard household bleach with no extra whiteners, brighteners, or scents of any kind like lemon.  Many manufactures bleach labels state “not fit for human consumption”, which is true (Does it need to be said? Ok, don’t drink straight bleach!) Now if the only active ingredient in your bleach is Sodium Hypochlorite, it is suitable for water sterilization.  Here’s how you do it.  Add 1/2 teaspoon to 5 gallons of water if it is clear (or 8 drops of chlorine bleach to each gallon of clear water) or 1 teaspoon to 5 gallons of water if the water is cloudy.  Allow your water to sit at least 30 minutes.  If water does not have a slight chlorine odor, repeat the dosage and let stand for 15 minutes.” 

Letter Re: Recommended Ghillie Suit Supplier

Hi Jim,
After reading Grampa R.’s post about making a ghillie suit I thought he, as well as other readers might be interested in knowing there is a company that makes custom ghillie suits. They are made with materials that reduces the thermal signature to almost nil. The burlap is dyed with a fire retardant and water repellent. Multiple colors of the burlap are layered to make it match your area of operation. The burlap is dyed in such a manner that it will appear to change color to blend with naturally surrounding foliage and/or regional terrain. This is the company that designed the roll-up ghillie and invented the thumb loops to keep sleeves in place. All suits come with thumb loops unless otherwise specified. These suits work so well they are regulated by the Department of State! They have custom made over 10,000 suits. They come with a 30 unconditional guarantee and a 2 year warranty against defects in workmanship. If one wants the best ghillie money can buy you won’t go wrong. They also make ghillie covers for rifles. Custom Concealment, Inc.See: http://www.ghillie.com/index.htm.
Regards, – F1

Jim’s Quote of the Day:

“Government is not reason;  it’s not eloquence;  it is force.  Like fire, it’s a dangerous servant and a fearful master.” – George Washington

Note from the Memsahib:

Check out the new SurvivalBlog Classified Ads page! A 20 word ad (not counting contact information) is just $10 for two weeks. But be sure to read our Terms of Use before placing an ad.

Note from JWR: I will be a featured guest today (Saturday) on Dr. Geri Guidetti’s web radio/shortwave radio show. The show airs at 1 p.m. Central Time (11 a.m. Pacific Time.) This two hour show will also be available via podcast. The Topic: Pandemics–family Preparedness. For details on how to hear the webcast live or on how to download it post facto, visit the Republic Radio web site: http://www.rbnlive.com.

More Severe Weather Patterns Ahead?

Although climatologists are sharply divided as to long term global warming versus global cooling, there is some evidence of at least short term changes in climate. Consider the following “Hundred Year Forecast” from the pundits at LiveScience: http://www.livescience.com/forcesofnature/051013_stronger_storms.html However, you might just log this as “Food for Though and Grounds for Further Research” (FFTAGFFR), rather than as reliable data for making decisive relocation plans. I’m sorry to say that the jury is still out about global warming.

“Doug Carlton” Re: Ghillie Suits, Camouflage Ponchos, Protective Masks, and Night Vision Gear

Here’s my views on some of your more recent e-mail. Grandpa R. brought up some interesting things. First of all on the Ghillie suit, I don’t recommend a poncho for the stereotypical work a Ghillie suit is used for. A Ghillie suit is a task and terrain specific uniform that’s employed by specially trained folks. If you already have the training and field craft to use a ghillie suit correctly and effectively, then you already know the answer to the question. That answer isn’t the poncho, it’s the same one or two piece suit that every sniper from every nation uses. There’s a reason they ALL use the same thing, and that’s because it’s the only thing that will does the job at that level of expertise. Jim’s recommendation on the poncho is dead on for the survivalists who aren’t graduates of a service branch’s sniper qualification course. The poncho is a multi-use item, and that’s always a plus. A great example of one is the German Zeltban. The Zelt can be used as a poncho, breaking up the outline of the human figure, as a “shelter quarter” to make a four-man tent, as a tarp to make an individual shelter, as a poncho for rain, etc. as an outer garment including various ways to configure it for walking, riding on horses/bicycles, etc. Many European countries used them right up until recently. Most are canvas, so they are quiet, though they are heavy. many are designed with summer foliage camouflage on one side, and winter on the other, though I’ve seen some that are just green and you can dye them whatever you want for your area. If I was going to use one in the desert, I’d make a copy of the Zelt in canvas with one side day desert and the other side night desert, and update the buttons, etc. If I was in the north, then woodland on one side, and a winter/fall on the other would be a better choice. You get the idea. A liner made from a GI poncho liner would also create a sleeping bag, and a field jacket. It’s a phenomenal piece of kit. I can provide specs to anyone, just e-mail Jim and he’ll let me know if it’s something worth pursuing in the future for an installment on the Blog.
On gas masks and NBC, you have to remember not to equate Army NBC training and procedures with your’s as a survivalist. You don’t have the
logistics tail to make fighting and operating in contaminated environments a viable option. The best you can do is provide a limited amount of NBC protection that will allow you to egress a contaminated area. Changing filters when “in the soup” is not high on my list of things to do. High on that list is getting out of that area. Don’t think “Army”, think “survivalist”. It’s two different things. In a practical sense, you simply don’t need a “dirty environment change” capability. You need a capability to protect yourself long enough to get to a clean environment. The mask filters will give you plenty of time to do that. Military operations in an NBC environment and survival operations in an NBC environment are two very different things. Equipment, individual tasks, et cetera are the same or similar, but they are conducted differently. That doesn’t mean you’re doomed if a gas bomb hits. You’re never doomed if you prepare. But your actions as a survivalist will be different than your actions as a soldier on the battlefield would be.
On the subject of NVG/NODs. Older generation devices will exhibit what’s called “bloom” effect. So a tritium night-sight would present a big softball sized glow on the end of your weapon. The later gen units greatly reduce the bloom effect, so what the effect is will greatly depend on the generation of the systems in use. Electrical tape will pretty much cure any noise and light problems at night.- “Doug Carlton”

Letter Re: NBC Protective Masks

“Grampa R.” wrote in, asking about changing filters in a contaminated environment. I agree with you on the constant exhale method. I’ve also seen military NBC folks cover the opening after removing the filter while changing it to a new one. This seemed a little complicated to me, even with the other filter prepped for install. Also, this method would necessitate deconing your gloves or whatever you would use to cover the hole before covering the hole (or you would risk inhaling contaminant that might be on your gloves.) I like the method you described much better. It is always good to seek overhead protection before changing canisters if you are still receiving agent.
The M17 series of masks should be considered “Tier 2” masks in my opinion, due to the problems changing the filters in a contaminated environment.
Regarding masks and filters: Your mask has a series of valves that control intake and outlet. Hence, you should be alright to keep a filter installed in your mask as long as you keep the opening to the filter covered with something like duct tape. Roll one end of the duct tape well past the opening and make a small “handle” by putting it back on itself. Then when you don the mask all you need do is to pull the duct tape off the opening of the filter and your good to go. The inlet valve on the mask (which only works one way) and the tape covering the opening of the filter are keeping dust, pollen, etc. from getting into the filter. The older issue C2 filters came in a metal can that took approximately 1 minute to open. These are great for storage, but would take some time to open without practice. The new issue C2A1 come in a quick open plastic can type container. Very durable, I’ve stood on them to no effect. Micronell M95 filters are another good choice if you can’t find C2A1s.
I encourage readers to learn symptoms of the various chemical agents as well as treatment. Hope this helps. – R.H.

Letter Re: Ghillie Suits and IR Protection

I find I must disagree with you about Ghillies. In my opinion a poncho is a not a good idea for a Ghillie. My advice instead is to use a long “lab-coat” style jacket [as the starting point for constructing a Ghillie]. I bought mine for $10 at a surplus work-clothes store. Get a large one which will fit over your LBE without your pack. Dye it brown (or some other more tactical color) and cut the front of the coat in a U-shape from just above the belt-line and from the outer edge of the thigh (so the material on the sides just brushes the ground when you are on your belly), it should look like a set of “Tails” on a bizarre tuxedo. Get rid of the button closures too, replace them with velcro closures to get in and out of the suit fast. Then use camo-netting or fishnet to cover the coat completely across the back, arms (with an inch or two of excess) and a veil that goes over the head and down about half-way to the waist (so it can be used to cover your weapon.) Secure the net on the suit either by sewing it directly or by sewing on buttons and making button-holes in the netting (sewing directly is MUCH easier.) The burlap, rope, cloth pieces, etc. are then tied to the netting, completely across the back and the back and top of the veil with a small amount on the front of the veil itself. Add a pair of trousers with the back of the legs similarly covered and either sew strips to a pair of boots or make a pair of spats covered in strips. I also recommend covering the knees and elbow areas with heavy material to reduce wear and pad the joints when crawling.

The Ghillie suit is for laying down or crawling, so you cannot put a bunch of stuff on the front, nor can you crawl very well with material bunching up under your legs or needing to be secured so it doesn’t get in your way. My version will cover what needs to be covered, it’s not quite as hot as many versions, allows a degree of freedom of movement, and best of all is not covered in stiff, sticky, often flammable glue. A little spray-paint can be used to tone down bright spots and blend the colors better. Also a fire retardant is essential, all that burlap and cloth will go up like a month-old Christmas tree with the slightest spark.

One other note, [lining a ghillie suit with] mylar is a bad idea, a Ghillie suit is hot enough, adding mylar will have you broiling in your own juices in five minutes if you cover yourself in it and that’s the only way to disguise your heat signature enough to matter. If you are worried about FLIR or other thermal detection, find an olive drab space-blanket or, even better, a “combat casualty blanket” which is a heavy padded version of a space-blanket, and convert it into a cover for you position.- Warhawke

Jim’s Quote of the Day:

“The real trouble with this world of ours is not that it is an unreasonable world, nor even that it is a reasonable one. The commonest kind of trouble is that it is
nearly reasonable, but not quite. Life is not an illogicality, yet it is a trap for logicians. It looks just a little more mathematical and regular than it is; its’
exactitude is obvious; but its’ inexactitude is hidden; its’ wildness lies in wait.” – G. K. Chesterton

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