Are gear sling packs suited for a get home bag? After a hiking trip in July of 2016, my opinion is that it you use a gear sling for a get home bag there are some things you need to look for in the pack design.
The July hiking trip was a little short at around 6 – 8 miles. Up until then I had never taken a gear sling pack on more than just a couple of miles. At round maybe the 5 – 6 mile mark, the strap started digging into my shoulder. My arm felt like it was going numb from the pain.
I took a bandanna, folded it up and put it between the strap and my shoulder for extra padding. That helped for a little bit.
The pack I was using is a Red Rock Rambler. The strap is on the left side and can not be switched to the right. I ended up taking the pack off and carrying it by hand for the last couple of miles. The pain was so intense my shoulder was sore for a couple of days.
Armchair commandos may believe anything sharp will make a good skinning knife, this is simply not true. Certain types of knives are much better at skinning wild game than others. Let’s take a few minutes and talk about types of knives to stay away from and types to consider.
For most applications the smaller and thinner the blade the better.
The easier the knife is to clean, the better. This should exclude multi-tools and knives with accessories, such as the Swiss Army knife.
High carbon steel blade that holds an edge and is easy to sharpen.
Examples that come to mind so far are the Gerber Big Rock, Gerber Profile, and Case pocket knives. I have seen more deer skinned with a Case pocket knife than any other brand of knife. Old guys do not mess around with fancy or expensive knives. Experience says go with what works. For most applications, a Case pocket knife will do just fine.
Mountain House recently extended the life of their pouches to 30 years, instead of 7 years. This is supposed to be retroactive to existing pouches produced before the date change.
How I found about about the date change, I posted a video on youtube called Stockpiling mountain house #10 cans and pouches. Someone posted a comment saying “Your way out of date regarding the life of the pouches.” So I started a thread on the forum – When did mountain house pouches go to 30 years.
Someone from Mountain House replied with the following quote.
We’ve been using O2 absorbers in all of our non-novelty products for over a decade, including our Pro-Paks. It was before the early naughties that the pouches were just vacuum packed.
The new 30 Year Taste Guarantee applies to all MH products with intact packaging, whether O2 absorber, vacuum packed, or both (with the exception of novelties: ice cream sandwich, neapolitan ice cream, and cheesecake bites, all of which have a 2 year Taste Guarantee…)
Hope that helps!
Mountain House then went on to clarify some questions about nutrients.
A stove for an individual bug out bag is different than a family sized stove. Do you need a two burner store, one burner stove, propane fuel, liquid fuel, will you be using a lantern? Do you need a stove for a car survival kit or a stove for a cabin off in the woods?
Before we begin, I want to make it clear I am not a big fan of liquid fuel. Whether it is Coleman fuel or gasoline, I feel liquid fuels can be dangerous in certain situations. Then there is the spilling issue with liquid fuel and fumes. However, Coleman fuel is more efficient than propane. Coleman says a gallon of liquid fuel is equal to something like 4 1/2 one pound cylinders of propane.
Everything mentioned in this article is for reference only. During the course of this article certain brand names and models are mentioned, this is not an endorsement. It is up to the reader to make the final decision on what is best for them and their family.
Up until a few months ago I had never heard of Thrunite. The leaders of the high quality flashlight pack are names like Surefire and Streamlight. Those guys better up their game because Thrunite is offering a quality product at a very affordable price.
Full disclosure: I received the Thrunite TN4A at no cost to myself. Receiving a sample at no cost to myself will not influence my opinion as I look at the results of the test. The most important factor is if the flashlight passed all of the test and continue operating.
The test: Some of the youtube viewers have accused me of abusing the flashlights in my test. One example is the Thrunite TN12 review where the flashlight is put through all kinds of test. Some of the viewers asked what running over the light with a tractor proved. Some testers run over gear with a car or truck, so I thought why not be different and use a tractor. Due to the feedback I decided not to run over the Thrunite TN4A with a tractor.
When it comes to an all around SHTF survival firearm, there is no better choice than the pump shotgun. No other firearm is as versatile as the shotgun. No other firearm can go from snake protection, to hunting deer or hogs, to hunting squirrels like the shotgun.
We live in an era of firearms where tacticool is the name of the game. Fanboy clubs have popped up where only the best of the best is good enough. Then it is a pissing match to see who can have the coolest toys on their firearms. This translates to who can have the best optic, the best trigger, the best light,,, etc. In other words, firearm ownership has turned into a competition to see who can invest the most money into their toys.
Then there is the classic pump shotgun. Nothing fancy, no light, no optic, maybe not even a sling. There is something about the shotgun, how simplistic it is, how timeless it is.
First thing that is mentioned is magazine fit. My WASR-10 can be rather picky when it comes to magazines. Some are loose while others are rather tight. When I bought some Korean 20 round AK magazines the fit was tight until they had a few rounds put through them and the finish started to wear.
Make sure the rivets and pins are uniform.
Look at the front sight if it is “canted”, which means the front sight may be leaning to one side or the other. My WASR-10 has a slight cant on the front sight. I did not know to look at the rifle to make sure the sight was aligned with the barrel. I figured the person assembling the rifle would take a little pride in their work and make sure the front sight was on straight.
The video talks about several other things to look for before you buy. Be sure to subscribe to the AK operators youtube channel.
This is a review of the Thurnite Archer 1A V3 flashlight. Awhile back I did a review of the ThruNite TN12. The TN12 took everything I threw at it and kept working. With this review of the Thrunite Archer I decided up up the game and add some different test.
Disclosure: The Thurnite Archer was sent to me at no cost to myself. This will not affect my opinion of the flashlight and hopefully will not affect your opinion.
The Archer comes with a lanyard and a heavy duty clip. I removed the clip for the test. To get the clip off I had to use a screw driver and pry it off the flashlight housing.
Up until just a few days ago I had never heard of ThruNite, much less the ThruNite TN12. Someone on youtube reached out and asked if I would be interested in reviewing the TN12. After looking at the light I said sure, I would love to see it.
Looking at the ThruNite TN12 on amazon, I asked myself how good could a $49 flashlight be?
First impressions are important. I liked the quality of the box and how the flashlight was packaged. It is “just a box” but first impressions are important. I liked the overall packaging, the light was held in place with padding.
Over the past couple of years coyotes have been stealing my chickens. I thought losses have not been “that” bad, but the time has come to take action. A few days ago I was looking through pictures of when I bought the chicks, that is when I realized just how many of my chickens are missing. Looking at how many chickens I currently have, and then looking at the number of chicks I had, the losses are not sustainable.
I do not count my chickens every day, or even every week. Living in a rural area with free range chickens it is normal to lose one here and there. Hawks, bobcats, coyotes, foxes,,, all love chicken. However, my flock is not a buffet bar. Something has to give or I will never be able to develop a self-sustainable chicken flock for shtf. In other words, the predators are killing the chickens faster than they can reproduce.
Deer rifle instead of AR-15
At first glance why not use a deer rifle for predator control? Any of the popular deer hunting calibers will make short work of a coyote or bobcat – 30-30 Winchester, 270 Winchester, 280 Remington, 308 Winchester, 30-06, 243, 6mm, 257 Roberts or even the 7.62X39 in the Ruger Mini-30, SKS and AK-47 will make short work of a coyote.
While visiting various AR-15 forums and other firearms forums, I see a common trend that only the best is good enough. Only the best AR-15 is good enough, everything else is junk. Only the very best magazines are good enough, everything else is junk. Only the very best ammunition is good enough, everything else is junk. Only the very best optic is good enough, everything else is junk.
When prepping for a long term SHTF / TEOTWAWKI event, do you apply that same philosophy to all aspects of your preps?
Do you have the best tiller? Do you research the parts used to make that tiller, the manufacturing process, the heat treating, the hardness of various metals, what about stress test on parts used to make the tiller?
Do you have the best garden rake or hoe? Do you research the metals and the manufacturing process used to make your garden tools?
Do you have the best axe money can buy? Do you research the metals, hardness, manufacturing process of your wood cutting tools?
Do you have the best chickens? Do you research the breeding process of the hatcheries? What about the genetics of the chickens? If you want an exact chemical analysis of your AR-15 parts,l do you demand a DNA test on your chickens?
If you demand the very best of the best of the best for your tacticool firearm, what about your other preps?
Shouldn’t feeding your family be as important as protecting them?
Awhile back someone posted a comment on one my youtube videos saying the hoe will be your best friend after SHTF. This got me to thinking about how important certain types of survival gear were over other types.
Can you use an AR-15 or AK-47 to till a garden? Plow a field? Bushhog? Operate an auger to set fence post? Clear brush? Weed a garden? Pick the crops? Can the harvest?
Who is your very best friend?
The hoe and the rake.
They have proven then test of time. Our ancestors used garden tools thousands of years before firearms were ever thought of.
Garden tools have no moving parts – no locking lugs, no bolt carrier, no firing pin, no ammunition, nothing to run out of except your physical strength.
When I made the youtube video I thought it was a good topic. Maybe something for members of the community and forum to talk about their over reliance on firearms to survive a post-SHTF world. I was rather set back by the comments and negative ratings on the youtube video.
Let’s be honest, garden tools are not cool. They do not have the “that is so awesome” like an AR-15, AK-47, AK-74, PTR-91 and FN/FAL do. there are no rails on a hoe to mount the “best tactical light money can buy”, or a suppressor, or eotech or aimpoint. There is no tacticool with hoes and rakes. Yes there are cheap garden tools and there are more expensive ones.
Who honestly pays attention to the brandname and quality of a garden tool? Do you take your hoe and rake out and show it to your friends like you would with some of your tactical gear? Do you shop online and read the reviews of your garden tools? Or do you buy whatever the local chinamart and farm supply store has in stock?
Someone on youtube even sent me a message saying they almost unsubscribed because of the video.
In the overall scheme of things which is more important in the long run, being able to feed your family, or having thousands of rounds of ammunition you can not eat.
Hunting after SHF
The typical survivalist response to questions about stockpiling ammunition, they will go hunting during a long term SHTF situation.
Let’s be honest, do you really think you will be the only person hunting post-collapse?
What do you think caused the wild turkey and whitetail deer to become extinct in east Texas during the early 1900s? Habitat destruction played a big role, but over hunting during the great depression contributed greatly to wildlife depletion. When the food dries up in the cities, where do you think those people are going? Out to the country to find food.
Do you honestly think you will be the “only” person who will be able to hunt when all the wildlife has been depleted? Chances are good number of people are on hunting leases, which is where a lot of people will go. When they reach their hunting lease they will hunt. When all the wildlife around the lease is depleted they will travel further and further to find food.
People who live in rural areas will deplete the wildlife around them. Then they will venture further and further away from home to find food.
It will be just a matter of time before all the deer, rabbit, squirrels, wild hogs,,,, everything is hunted out. Then what?
Do you plan on raiding your neighbors garden and chicken house for food? Only the animals that are protected by their owners will be the only fresh meat available in a long term post-collapse world.
Family pets will be a source of food, and then what? During the Black Death of 1348 – 1350 dogs and cats became extinct in some parts of Europe.
History has proven this time and time again. The people with a renewable and reliable food source are the ones who will survive. This means a garden, chickens, goats, fruit trees, stockpiling seeds,,, a variety of food sources.
Simply put, hunting is unreliable and unsustainable in a long term SHTF / TEOTWAWKI situation.
Practical approach to prepping
Preppers / Survivalist may wish to consider a practical approach to prepping. Which means less focus on stockpiling beans, bullets and band-aids, and more of a back to basics approach.
Let’s take $25 and spend it on prepping gear.
Would you rather have:
1 brown turkey fig tree at $22.98.
Taken care of could provide your family with decades of figs. Figs are rated as maybe the worlds healthiest food with it being a source of fiber, vitamin A, manganese and potassium.
1 Celeste fig tree at $22.98.
10 chicks, at $2.50 each.
10 laying hens with a reliable food source should be enough to produce a dozen eggs every 2 – 3 days. Breed, time of year and quality of feed all play a role in egg production.
2 Pmags at $11.95 each.
9 pounds Roma II snap bean seed at $2.75 a pound.
Plant 3 pounds of this seed and you should have enough for 3 years after SHTF. Pick before the beans for, snap the ends off, boil and eat husk and all. Or, lot beans mature, dry and save for next year. High producing plant, should be picked every few days.
9.43 pounds Contender snap bean seed at $2.65 a pound.
Same family as the Roma II snap bean. Pick before bean inside of husk matures, boil and serve. Beans are a good source of potassium, iron, protein, and fiber.
Plant one pound per year and you should have enough for three years.
10.20 pounds purple hull BVR pea seed at $2.45 a pound.
Plant one pound per year and you will have enough seed for 3 years. Peas are a source of vitamin A, potassium, fiber, vitamin C, magnesium and vitamin B-6.
9.43 pounds yellow dent field corn at $2.65 a pound.
Yellow dent field corn is open pollinated / heirloom so the seeds can be saved.
60 rounds American eagle 223 Remington for $6.49 a box.
Good source of copper and lead.
Renewable or consumable
From the above list it boils down to renewable and consumable items. Should you base your and your families future on renewable or consumable items?
Transporting goods and services during a long term SHTF / TEOTWAWKI situation has been on my mind for awhile.
In big cities people use large SUVs and trucks as a status symbol. 300+ horsepower, 4 wheel drive, gas guzzler, but has never pulled a trailer or been off the pavement.
In urban areas nearby rural areas, and in rural areas people “use” their SUVs and trucks. Yesterday evening (February 25, 2016) Jasper Texas was packed with trucks and bass boats. The weather this weekend is going to be nice so people are going to the lake.
There are thousands of people all across the nation who live just a couple of hours from rural locations. Those people venture out of the city to go hunting, fishing and enjoy nature. While doing those activities they pull a boat, or maybe a trailer with an ATV on it.
In rural areas just about everyone knows someone who owns a truck and trailer. I drive a Toyota truck and have a Tacoma I am rebuilding. My dad and brother both have 3/4 ton dodge trucks. Walmart looks like a used truck dealership just about everyday.
There is an article on AllOutdoor.com talking about Heavy duty SHTF battle rifles. The picture used for the article shows an AR-10 next to an FN/FAL. Looking at the picture I have to ask myself, why do we need an AR-10 in a niche that is already full?
The right arm of the free world, the FN/FAL that has been in service since 1954. As of 2015 that is 61 years.
M1A, which is based off the M14, battle proven, reliable, marksmanship rifle has been in service since 1974. The M14 has been in service since 1959. As of 2015 that is 56 years.
PTR-91, based off the Heckler and Koch G3, in service since the year 2000, so only 15 years as of 2015. The Heckler and Koch G3 has been in service since 1959. So 56 years like the M1A.
We have three military grade rifles based off proven designs. Where does the AR-10 fit into that group?
If you want something along the lines of a sporting rifle, there is the Remington Model 750 Woodsmaster with a walnut stock and the Model 750 Synthetic. The 750 synthetic comes with a synthetic stock as its name suggest.
Then there are the dozens of bolt action rifles chambered in 308 Winchester. Just about every firearms manufacturer makes a rifle model chambered in 308 Winchester. It is not like the market “needs” another rifle chambered in 308 Winchester, much less another semi-automatic rifle.
Awhile back I was looking for a 308 semi-auto rifle that would be included in my long term SHTF survival plans. I considered the AR-10, but not seriously. If I am going to stockpile magazines and gun parts, why not stockpile them for a rifle that has half a century of military service behind it?
One of the great topics in the survivalist / prepping community is about survival knives. Everyone has an opinion about what kind of knife would be ideal for surviving in a post-SHTF / post-TEOTWAWKI world.
Some of the discussions on knives revolve around real world situations, while a lot of the discussions revolves around unrealistic situations, such as bugging out to the wilderness.
After putting much thought into the SHTF survival knife topic, what if I told you just about everyone was right and just about everyone was wrong? There is no perfect knife for a post collapse society. That is why we should stockpile a variety of knives.
Rambo hollow handle survival knife – No article on survival knives is complete without discussing the grandfather of all survival knives. Let’s go ahead and get that out of the way. The word “survival knife” brings to mind the 1982 movie Rambo when John Rambo used his knife to survive in the wilderness. Shortly after the movie Rambo was released a survival knife craze kicked in. Survival knives were made in all shapes, forms and fashions. Some were good quality but there was a lot of junk on the market. The hollow handled Rambo survival knife was probably the most popular.