26 October 2012

A New Threat?

As if things couldn’t get worse. I have been trying not to listen to the media hype crap but alas, it finds its way to me in one shape or form. 

I know that we are all prepared or getting prepared and although I fit into the getting prepared category, I heard another topic the other day that caused me to think.

This is the time of year to get prepared for winter. Although hurricane season is coming to a close, it is obvious with the upgrade of Tropical Storm Sarah to a full bore hurricane, it is definitely not over for the East Coast.

  • Do you have batteries?
  • Do you have alternate power?
  • Do you have food?
  • Do you have water?

This is a great initial checklist for all preps but it doesn't necessarily focus on my latest topic. Politics! No, I will not be discussing the candidates, platforms or favoritism towards one or the other as this is not the media choice for that discussion.

My “instincts” kicked in when I thought about the outcomes regardless of the winner. What could happen is the question at the top of my list. 

  • Riots
  • Shortages
  • Fuel prices rise
  • Looting
  • In city/out of city

Although I don’t know the answers, this is a short time preparedness goal we need to set as a community. Regardless of which way the vote goes, these are possible.

STOP! No, this is not to scare you. This is not to make you fearful. This is, as always, using your instincts to survive. 

The idea actually came from a person who doesn’t watch politics, doesn’t watch the news, doesn’t focus on doomsday scenarios but still came to me for a solution.

So there it is folks, another thing to be prepared for. I am adding a few extra things just in case but pretty much sticking with my normal preps as a whole. Oh, what are they?

  • Extra water
  • Extra soup
  • Extra rice
  • Extra toilet paper
  • Extra batteries
  • and...Extra Bullets

Again, it is all prefaced with extra because it is just adding to my normal preps.

CALL TO ACTION: Check your preps. See if you need to add a little something extra.

Until then,
Use your instinct to survive

Photo Credit: ©2008 Oregon Mountain River Chapter of the American Red Cross

15 October 2012

DIY Firestarter

Firestarter Blogpost

Taking a page, or rather two from the Survival Quarterly (Volume 1; Issue 1 page 48), I decided to follow the article by Curtis Fidler regarding DIY Firestarter. First, let me just give accolades to Ron and Karen Hood for an incredible magazine. I came across their site a couple of years ago and recently decided to go all in and purchase copies of the magazine including back copies. The writers within Survival Quarterly are people that I trust. Guys like Mykel Hawke, David Williams and Ron Hood. I have even been very happy to see some articles by Karen Hood as well. She has done a fantastic job with the magazine since Ron’s untimely death. 

Back to the stuff:
The motto for the magazine and Ron’s creed has always been “Survival... It’s all in your head”. Because of that, I started actually putting to task some of the things taught in the magazine. The DIY Firestarter is one I really wanted to share because folks pay good money for firestarters and why not save some cash by doing it myself.

It starts simple as all you need is:
  • Empty toilet paper roll
  • Cotton balls
  • Paraffin wax

Stuff the tube with cotton until it is firm, make sure it doesn’t come out of the other side

Melt the wax and pour it slowly into the tube. The tube will get wet with wax as well (note the color differences compared to the previous picture). This is a slow process as it takes a while for the hot wax to get from the top to the bottom of the tube. Continue this until you can’t put any more wax in the tube.

Let them dry completely. I waited two weeks to ensure their firmness but could have probably used them before. 

Slice them to your liking. I think more than 1/2” is a bit much and mine are between 1/4” and 1/2”.

Light em up! My test was done on fairly breezy day and the 1/4” disk burned for around 20 minutes. I think if there was no breeze, it could have easily burned for 30 minutes. 

As mentioned in the article, this goes beyond just starting fires but can be used as fuel for a compact camp stove, creating a can lantern or candle or whatever else you can think of just by fluffing a little portion of the cotton and lighting it. Another option is starting the tablet on fire and putting it out to make a “char cloth” type of disk that can be relit with your ferrous rod.

This comes as a very low cost way of creating something we pay top dollar for just to be prepared. Use them wisely but definitely be prepared. Also, let me know your thoughts or ideas or other uses. I would like to hear and share them.

Now to see if it will work with my striker as opposed to a match. :)

Until then,
Use your instinct to survive