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  • April 30, 2012

    Survival Gear: Which Fuels to Use and Which to Avoid for Oil Lamps-3


    When you’re prepping for disaster or stocking your backwoods camp, you always need to have sufficient lighting sources on your gear list. Light sticks, candles and flashlights are good, but what about something that is fuel efficient and works in all weather?

    That’s where oil lamps come into play, my favorite being the lightweight Dietz Original lamp. This classic lamp works indoors and outdoors, through wind and rain. At 10½ inches tall and weighing 2¼ pounds empty, this little lamp’s 8-ounce fuel capacity provides an 11-hour burn time. The heat output is around 900 BTUs per hour, and it puts out an average of 7 candle power with a half inch of burning wick exposed.

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  • April 30, 2012

    Wilderness Cooking: How to Use Skewers and Spits-3


    Skewers, spits and kabobs can go way beyond their simplistic use in roasting marshmallows. These versatile cooking tools represent one of the fastest survival cooking methods you'll find. Cooking directly over the campfire with your food on a stick can give you greater control over temperatures than other cooking methods, as the height of the food from the fire can be easily changed. And if you are using a small, smoky fire, you can slow cook your foods to perfection and give them a great smoky flavor.

    While green wood skewers and spits are probably the most primitive tools for cooking over a fire, don’t think that primitive is synonymous with being bad. This is one of my favorite cooking techniques.

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  • April 23, 2012

    Survival Gear: 10 Essential First Aid Kit Items-2


    If you cut out all of the bells, whistles and tongue depressors from the average first aid kit, it begs the question, “What should be in there?”

    What do you really need when the chips are down? What kind of medical gear do you need for the most common outdoor injuries? In the first part of this two-part post, we are going to look at the basic hardware of a good medical kit. Then, in the follow up, we’ll dip into the necessary medicines to keep you going until you can get to the doctor.

    1.) Non-stick dressings: These versatile bandages are critical for bleeding control, and for applying pressure to open wounds and snake bites. You can even use them as emergency fire starting tinder.

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  • April 20, 2012

    Gear Test: Survival Straps Paracord Bracelets-4


    Maybe you are starting to see paracord bracelets as often as I see them. This creative cordage storage option has been around for a while, but it really seems to be catching on recently. And with good reason. These bracelets are a handsome looking excuse to carry a piece of Military Spec 550 cord everywhere we go, making it a great every day carry item.

    But that wasn’t good enough for the Florida based Survival Straps company, who have devised a way to sweeten the deal, and provide you with something the competition and the homemade bracelets don’t deliver -- a brand new replacement in the event that you use the Survival Strap in an emergency. That’s right, use their bracelet to get out of a jam; send in the story with 5 bucks for shipping; and they’ll send you a replacement Survival Strap.

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  • April 17, 2012

    Survival By Beer: How To Brew For Food, Medicine and Fun-0


    Liquid bread. That’s what some have called beer. It’s a drink with life sustaining calories. Just ask Clifton Vial, who survived -17 degree temperatures by eating canfuls of frozen beer when his truck went into a snow drift near Nome, Alaska last December. If that doesn’t sound impressive enough, consider that our ancestors have been brewing for the past 10,000 years, in an effort to create a consumable item that lasted longer than other foods and provided a drinking source in which no human pathogens can survive.

    Since ancient times, people have recognized that the consumption of alcoholic drinks was a way of avoiding water-borne diseases such as cholera. Beer was also frequently used on wounds as a disinfectant, and even as a sterile bath water for baby’s first bath. Sounds nice.

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  • April 16, 2012

    What to Pack for Emergencies: The Bug Out Bag vs. Get Home Bag-3


    The names pretty much say it all. The differences between a Bug Out Bag and a Get Home Bag are not so much in the gear, but in the application of the kit.

    The typical Bug Out Bag is for a situation where you must leave your familiar stomping grounds, and set up camp in a new location. There are usually a lot of backpacking and lightweight camping items in this bag to give you the gear to create a new, temporary home in the event of a localized disaster or a variety of other situations.

    Your Get Home Bag is leaner and meaner than the average BOB, and its purpose is clear—to get you home. If you are using a Get Home Bag, you’re planning on camping out in your own house, not in the woods. So, why should you consider having both?

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  • April 12, 2012

    25 (Mostly Practical) Uses For A Bandana-5


    What can’t you use a bandana for? This ubiquitous and option laden piece of cloth is part of so many survival gear lists. But are we using this simple square to its best advantages?

    Here are my top 25 most interesting uses for this humble swatch of fabric – in no specific order.

    1. Signal – a bright colored bandana can be hung up as a flag over a campsite that might be lost in tight brush or tall grasses, or swing it around on a stick as a signal flag.

    2. Bag – tie opposing corners together to make a bag to carry all sorts of loose items.

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  • April 10, 2012

    The Toxic Truth About DEET and Permethrin-4


    Many people respond to their fears of West Nile Virus and Lyme Disease (as well as their annoyance of chigger bites) by slathering on insect repellent, and quite often drenching their children in the stuff too. The prevalent choice in most stores will be a DEET-based repellent, which has proven effective at repelling bugs in study after study.

    But here’s the problem: DEET- and Permethrin-based repellents aren't just hazardous to ticks, mosquitoes and other pests; they may be hazardous to us, too.

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  • April 6, 2012

    Wilderness Cooking: Secret Ash Cake Recipe-3


    Out of bread? No oven to cook in? The coals of your camp fire can bake up some tasty bread—if you have the secret ingredient to make your dough.

    I’ve been whipping up ash cakes for years, and serving them to pleasantly surprised survival students for a while now. Although, it wasn’t always easy.

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  • April 5, 2012

    Survival Gear: Pick the Right Clothes for Springtime Weather-0


    Clothing selection is a critical part of planning for any trip into the outdoors. This preparation becomes even more important if you actually end up in an emergency situation. 

    Spring weather can be very temperamental throughout much of the country. From scorching afternoons and cold rainy days to sub-freezing nights, you need a set of clothing that will keep your body at the right temperature all the time, despite the whims of Mother Nature.

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