Yep, It getting closer. The more I consider spring, The more excited I get. Now that I live in a truly 4 season area. ( Read Minnesota) I am getting the feel of it. Winters here are hard. Although I love the snow and have enjoyed the cold brisk air, wonderful snowscapes, walkabouts and even a snow camp (A first for me). Spring has taken on a new meaning.
Recently I went on a local walkabout in the neighborhood. And yes I did feel a spring in my step. Well ok, A spring in my Trudging along. Trudging??, Well at my age you begin to trudge. Its not a bad thing, its just well, I’m not as young as I was and now I trudge, it just means “Getting some where takes a little longer”. We (Trudgers) tend to take in the sights and sounds more. We have time to spare. We are now “smelling the roses” to say. The end result is the same. It just seems a lot more pleasant. Maybe I have been doing my walkabouts all wrong before. No I have never not enjoyed a past walkabout so that’s not it. The more I consider this the more I look forward to trudging to a river or lake, While dragging the Kayak along at times. Another reason to slow down and enjoy the trudge. (Its heavy and well you know I’m old).
Seriously now, I look forward to some long missed Kayak paddling? Peddling. (I have a Hobie Outback Kayak, It has The Mirage system which allows you to Peddle rather than paddle), Fly-fishing, The joy, and some hammock camps. Ok a lot of hammock camps, paddles ,peddles and casts with my Fly rod/rods.
Ahhhhh. Spring time. I know its still a little early here in Minnesota, There is still about 5-6 inches of snow on the ground (at least). And I am fairly certain more to come. The good thing is the temperatures are higher on the average. And even today I sat for awhile in the glory of the sun. Oh what splendiffery. (Yes I came up with a new word.)
What has all this thinking and wondering done for me. Got the Spring in my Trudge going. I am about to start pulling out all my Spring , Summer, Fall toys. Dust them off, clean and polish and get even more excited . Yay for me, Another season to enjoy.
Oh and of course, update my Survival packs for the new season. Don’t forget to do that!
But that’s another story…..
Remember. All together now
KNOWLEDGE IS A SURVIVAL SKILL !
Keep it polished and updated. For all seasons.
The Novice Survivalist.
Hello Campers and outdoors enthusiasts. I have just got back home from a winter time walkabout. And while I sit here contemplating my life and life goals and the walkabout. I had a thought , yes, yes me thinking is dangerous. But I got to thinking about goals, We always talk or contemplate life goals. I am sure we all have these thoughts some time in life. But I took it a step further, or is it closer? Well you decide on that small point. Here is where my today’s contemplation took me.
We may not realize it but, when we think of doing something, whether going to the store, visiting or walkabout. What ever it maybe, we always end with “then head home.” And isn’t that the Ultimate goal for what ever we plan. We go (insert where, why, when.) and then return. At my work place, we have a very forward thinking Safety department. Their slogan, ” Our goal is to get everyone back home safely”. Is that not all our goals for everything we do.
Deciding to go somewhere is something we do everyday, we don’t deliberately think about the end goal, We assume. Its what we do. we always return home. Its in our nature.
On my winter stroll (trudge) today, I encountered something I did not plan on. It was not life threating, but was unexpected. Snow, its winter of course and this is Minnesota. Snow is expected to be on the ground. We had just had a good snow fall a couple days ago. (About 4-6 inches). I never gave that a thought, the sun had been out and temperatures up since the snow fall. I just wanted to get outside. Well I did not remember accumulation….a bit more than expected. I found myself trudging…literally trudging through the snow. At times as high as my knees. It was funny at first, but then got irritating. I had an idea where I wanted to go, but the depth of snow caused me to have to take some deviations to get there. On arrival I found that I had no-where to sit and make my planned cup of coffee and a chat to my You Tube followers. I landed up sitting on a very precarious tree trunk sticking out of the snow. And the horror… No comfortable place to make coffee. (I had planned on using my favorite cooker the Bush box.). Last time out there had been lots of small sticks and kindling to use in the Bush box but today …..they were gone . Covered by the 16 inches of snow laying over everything. Opps, did not plan that bit. Lesson learned.
When I got home I considered the walk. It could have been worse, a lot worse. I had not planned very well. Not good. Practice what you preach came to mind right away. To my embarrassment. But in the end it worked out.
The worst thing was my bottom got wet and a little cold from sitting on the log. Also forgot to pack my sit pad. Yes I forgot a lot this time out. Hopefully when I go out again, I will have learned from this. Yes, even us planners and worriers will forget the things we take for granted. Just as I said in my previous blog...” Murphy’s Law” it never rests, NEVER!!!!
But I am home safe and sound.
Remember Knowledge is a survival skill.
Plan and get home to your family, safe and sound. The ultimate goal, today anyway.
The Novice Survivalist
Hello again campers, I want to talk about some thing that I carry a lot. Actually, every time I go outside in the outdoors on a walkabout. I often use this without putting much thought into it. Is this a good thing or not, well I’m not sure to tell the truth. We should never take things for granted . For example I was looking at the upcoming weekend weather. Something I do a lot since moving to Minnesota. Its just safe practice before planning anything. The weather can change nasty here in a hurry and make things uncomfortable to say the least.
Prior planning is a must. Not just for Minnesota but for everybody, wherever you maybe. If you plan ahead you may just save yourself some heartache or even getting yourself into an uncomfortable situation.
One thing I learnt during my military service was, “If something can go wrong it will.” In the civilian world its known as “Murphy’s law” I am sure you have come in contact with it!. The military are big on this. They plan accordingly. No matter what they are preparing for. Whether to go into battle, a patrol, a road trip, or just guard duty, they plan it out to the minute detail. We can learn a lot from the military. We all know it is impossible to plan for every scenario, but we should plan never the less. Should you be putting together a bug out plan, Day trip, going camping or hiking, take the time to read up on military know how. They have a lot to offer.
This goes for any outing into the outdoors. Be it a walkabout, camping, road trip or just a quick visit . Take the time to plan ahead. I am not just talking about when you are going, time leaving and how to get there. I mean the other things we tend to ignore.
Make sure everybody who is joining you is on the same page. Everybody needs to know where you going, why, and for how long. Then look into the area you will be. What things maybe be a concern, What to do if it the concern or concerns happen. Make sure you have the necessaries you may need for the trip. Like I said we cannot plan for every scenario, but we can be better prepared, giving you a better chance of getting home safely. After all that is our ultimate goal!
So onto what I wanted to discuss. That is a simple survival pouch I carry with me when going on a walkabout in the outdoors. This little pouch I attach to my walkabout back pack. It has a very basic set of survival items I feel can get me out of most situations that I could encounter on a fairly short (day) walk in the wilderness.
I am a planner by nature. I plan ahead, but sadly I have never yet got everything thing perfectly right. But I persist. Why because the military beat it into me, they did something right. I am still here today to enjoy the outdoors.
Back to the pouch. Yes its a military surplus pouch I have talked about before, but just touched on it. I got to thinking about it lately. Could it actually help. So I took the time to go through it again and look what is in it. Can it sustain me for at least 72 hours. Although its a small pouch and not really designed to get me through a really bad situation.
It would need some help. Its just to small to carry some needed items for a true survival situation. Why carry it then.
Well its designed with a walkabout in mind. It attaches to my backpack or belt, and I will have certain things in or on the pack to enhance the pouch. Extra light jacket, Water, Food or snacks and my Canteen kit with bush box stove.
When I plan a trip there are certain things I always look at.
All these help me prep. I then take out everything I think I will need and subtract or add as needed. Yes I still tend to over pack. working on that as I go. This pouch for example was a result of over packing. I used to carry my camping possible’s pouch in my walkabout pack. Its much bigger and heavier. I replaced it with this pouch, smaller and less bulky. Takes up no room in my pack.
I am planning a little scouting trip this weekend. A trip about a 1.5 hr. drive away from home. I found this place on an app I have on my phone (” All trails” for those walkabout types looking for places to hike). It looks interesting, although probably better in summer. I needed an excuse to get outdoors, even with the extra snow we just got. It looks to have a lot of possibilities to camp and Kayak and even get some fishing in. No not this trip. Its just a quick scout.
So jump in the truck and off we go. Well no. I need to check weather, and if its even possible to get into the area. Its a state park I believe. Will it be open to the public on the day I plan on going. What clothing to take, (Its still quite chilly out there). and of course do I have the extras I need , you know “Just in case.”
So with that in mind here is my survival/possible’s /emergency pouch I will carry with me.
Oh just so you know I do have a EDCC
(Everyday car carry) in my truck should I need it for the road trip there…..and back. ( more coming on that…just a heads up.)
That’s it! Very basic, but as I said it is enhanced by the fact I will have it attached to my Walkabout backpack.
These items when added to the resource of my small survival pouch, adds up to a nice 72 hours emergency kit. A must for any outdoor hiker or enthusiast to have easily accessible, without adding to much weight or taking up space in your walkabout backpack.
Well there you go. Something to consider next time you look at your walkabout or day kit. Every survivalist should do the “Monthly” check of your kits and update or at least try to enhance them to your needs. Certainly prior to use, at least. Whether lightening or space saving choose wisely. Don’t leave your self vulnerable because you wanted to save weight.
The Novice survivalist.
You may have noticed with the last couple of my blogs, that winter certainly can put a damper on outdoor activities. Personally I enjoy time out in the snow, even some cold snow time beats having to sit at home. A quick walk in the quiet of a snow covered wilderness is always welcome, But some times its just to uncomfortable out there or even unsafe.
Today for example I was coming back home after a few chores completed in town and noticed a small building in ruin. At first I thought it was just a old building no longer used but just waiting to be torn down. But on closer inspection I found a little treasure. It actually is a Historic site, sitting there in Dundas along the Mill Town State Trail. Another little Gem I knew nothing about. The trail has been added to my walkabout to-do list and a I spent a quick couple of very cold minutes checking out the Historic ruin. It was originally one of the many Textile mills along the Cannon river in the Dundas, Northfield area. Once a booming industry in Minnesota. Pretty cool and deserves a closer look. Unfortunately as I said it was bitterly cold and before long it became a little uncomfortable. So I had to head back to the truck.
However before leaving I looked in my EDCC (Everyday car carry) pack in the truck and, as usual I had my walkabout back pack with me as well, which comes along when ever I am at leisure and walking out the door heading who knows where. I have a extra “Hoodie” light jacket packed in it just in case. I need it. This day I did. It allowed me some extra time out, that I had not planned on.
I had been working on some house keeping chores during these cold winter “no go” days. Not house work, but the usual task I do monthly of going through my camping, outdoor safety/survival goodies, Tents, hammock and other general camp stuff. This to put some thoughts in mind for some blogs and videos I needed to do. So I set about doing just that. (See Survive on a dime, can you?). I also decided to do some reviews of my cutting tools I carry and use on a regular basis. These videos of my cutters were uploaded to my YouTube channel and added to my reference page here on my personal survival blog website. (The Novice Survivalist).
The point of this blog post is to chat about the 3 cutters I carry the most. Basically my favorites. I have other Cutting tools which I have gathered over the years, but they have been relegated to a lower rung on the need ladder or to a different need. Normally if a cutter, they have been replaced with a bigger, shinier, sharper cutting tool, better suited for the job I need them for.
Like I said I have videos up or going up on my You tube channel. They are reviews of each one on its own. What I want to discuss now, is what I use them as. I suppose the correct wording would be what is their particular job descriptions. For me there are 3 main job descriptions for a cutter.
Remember the 10 C’s list for survival. Well Cutting tools is first on that list. Its the most important tool for survival you can have. I spend a lot of time perusing the internet looking at cutters. And I always keep in mind my job descriptions I have for my Knives. Namely ..
Here they are, in some more detail and why I chose them.
My EDC or pocket knife is the Buck, folding knife.
The mini spitfire. Small compact and holds a great sharp edge. I purchased it about 3 years ago and has been in my pants pocket ever since. I have used it for many things and even abused it and it has held up remarkable well. This knife is my constant companion. If I have a pocket, its in it. I don’t leave home without it.
Here are the specifications from the Buck Knives website.
Interested in getting one?. Click the link below and support my blog.
2. Belt Knife. Full tang
My belt knife or walkabout companion is the Browning 0225 Hunting Knife. Light , comfortable and fits my hand perfectly. I originally bought this a camp knife. Unfortunately it lacks weight for the chores I use a camp knife for. The blade was just a little to short as well. So it became my “belt knife’. It can be found on my belt when I go for a walkabout, scout or just exploring locally. I bring it on camping trips and most other places when outdoors. to tell the truth my favorite knife. Unfortunate it cannot do some of the tasks I need for a camp knife.
Here are the specifications from the Browning website.
Description Fixed blade knife with magnetically attached carbide sharpener, 7Cr stainless steel hollow ground drop point blade with a brushed finish, anti-skid grooves on blade spine.
Click the link below to visit the Browning website. It holds some wonders
My camp knife. This is probably the only true survival, camping, bugout etc. etc. knife I own. By for the best quality, sharpest and most used knife I have.
The Knives of Alaska, Sure grip bush knife. The quality and sharpness of this knife got my attention. As far as I am concerned the best money I spent on any of my cutting tools. The perfect weight and length I was looking for in a general use camp and survival knife. It does all the needed chores I need for around camp. Fire prep, wood prep, food prep…the list goes on. I have yet to attempt a chore I need it for and it has not performed to all my expectations. It is on my belt when in camp. Right from the start of a camp setup. It only comes off when replaced by my walkabout belt knife for a jaunt in the woods.
Looking for a knife of high quality you cannot go wrong with a Knives of Alaska Knife. They offer many different types and needs of knife. Here is a link to their comprehensive website. Take some time to check them out.
There you have it ! a quick look at my 3 constant companions in the outdoors. A must for the 10C’s of survival. And of course fun to play with, safely mind you.
Hopefully it will help you choose the knife you need for your outdoor, survival needs. And keep an extra light jacket handy, just in case….
Remember Knowledge is a survival tool
The novice survivalist
Hi Campers, I was rummaging around in my camping and survival goodies as usual. I do this about once a month on average. I’m a geek with camping and survival stuff. Love to look at, touch and feel them in my hands. Yes a little odd but what can I say. Sharp shinny things amuse me.
Fortunately I am not rich, Or I would become one of those hoarders you see and hear about on television. I would spend all my days, hours and minutes sitting on the floor in the basement, surrounded by my stuff.
Back on track. I was going through my camping bags, packs and pouches. I am constantly looking for better ways to sort and spread out my goodies amongst the carriers. You know the quick Walkabout pouch, the daypack, the kayak pack, the overnight camp pack (Hammock and tent options), the more than one night camping backpack etc. etc.
In each pack, I try to have a survival pouch, that I have put together basic survival tools for that particular use pack. I try to match the survival pouch to the size and use of the pack it goes into. I was rummaging through at a small belt pouch I have for quick wandering about in the outdoors. Its a military pouch, designed I believe for a quick access for most used items to be made readily available,(map, compass etc.). I think!. Anyway I had bought this a couple years ago while searching a local Military Surplus store in Fresno California. (Another problem I have. Cannot walk past a surplus store.) I opened it up and inside I found a tool I had thrown in there without much thought.
And that got me thinking about tools we choose and will they work.
This particular little tool is the GERBER DIME. Its a small, Ok very small multi tool I had purchased on a visit to home depot. It was cute and the price was not about to break my much depleted bank account. Plus of course it was shiny and sharp. My addiction kicked in right away. So I bought it, brought it home and threw it into my belt pouch. My attention is short lived. But hey here I am about to have a better look at a purchase on a whim about a year later. Will it work as a survival tool. Or is it just another extra I have in my emergency pouch that I will probably never use.
Keeping in mind the survival bag its going into, Namely my small belt pouch I use it for just going on a VERY quick walkabout, locally not to far from home. Like all survival pouches it has the bare minimum I would need in an emergency. In this case, basing the emergency on local access to help should some thing on a larger scale occur. But you never know. Would this tool be good enough to get me through the night. Say a 24 hour period. This pouch actually has a fairly small survival knife in it. As well as some other basic first aid / survival things, (band aids, medical tape, fire starters (Cotton balls with petroleum jelly), 550 cord and a small flash light and batteries. Aspirin, whistle and water purification tabs. And I always have my main belt knife on me where ever I go.)
The DIME as explained on the Gerber Website.
And I quote “We took the standard keychain multi-tool and made it better. In addition to stainless steel pliers, wire cutters, a fine edge blade, spring-loaded scissors, flathead screwdriver, crosshead driver, tweezers and file, the Dime includes a unique blade designed to safely cut and score plastic packaging and a bottle opener that is exposed even when the tool is closed. Compact and lightweight, the Dime is the most valuable change you’ll find in your pocket.”
The specifications from the Gerbergear.com
Overall Length: 4.25″
Closed Length: 2.75″
Weight: 2.2 oz
Compact, lightweight size fits perfectly in pocket – a daily companion for any task
Convenient, easily accessible butterfly opening
Sturdy stainless steel construction.
I have used it a couple times. Namely the scissors (used to cut some small para cord) The tweezers to take a small splinter out of my forearm. (No, I have no idea how that happened) and I just tried it out as a Ferro rod striker to get some sparks to start a fire. And yes it worked adequately on the first two but as a striker I could not get the back of the blade to strike. For 2 reasons. One the back of the small blade was not a clean 90 deg. cut needed to strike and the blade closed in the direction of the pressure needed to strike the Ferro rod. I did get it to work on the actual sharp side, no problem and maybe by using the “inside of the blade” near the handle will save the blade some what.
As far as the other items it has, The screw drivers, file and pliers/wire cutters, well I am not sure I would need them in a survival scenario. But you never know. Personally I think it makes a great tool for your key chain just as Gerber says. As a survival tool, maybe not. But I will keep it in the belt pouch simply for the tweezers and scissors if anything.
Click on the short video I made showing the DIME and trying out some fire starting skills with it. Good practice to say the least.
Remember Knowledge and maybe with a DIME is a survival skill.
The Novice Survivalist
Hello fellow campers, hikers, backpackers. survivalists and outdoors enthusiasts etc.. etc. You know who you are!
Winter is still going strong here in Minnesota. Yesterday my much needed sleep was interrupted by maintenance being performed on the complex. Unfortunately (Or fortunately) I work nights, While most are at work, I sleep. So what to do, I could not get back to sleep, so decided its a good time to walkabout. Checked the time and weather ( Something all Minnesota residents do before going out the door.) The horror.
It was a blistering 2 Deg. F. But hardly any wind and the sun was shinning. Oh well I was committed, So off I went. I decided I would go to my favorite haunt. The Cannon River Wilderness Park in Dundas MN. About a 20 minute drive down the road. In winter it is little used, except by those who brave the cold while snow shoeing etc. Grabbed my always ready to go walkabout day pack and headed out the door. Once again Nature provides.
With all the snow on the ground. (about 12inches accumulated) I found a silent snow covered wonder. The birds ( mainly crows and wood peckers) were out in force. Giving a wonderful relaxing background of natures music. There were hundreds of bunny and deer tracks around, but unfortunately with all my searching with my Polaris monocular I didn’t see any. The monocular is fast becoming a must have in the pack for me. The opportunities I have been missing because the sights are just to far away, are now won with this monocular.
Small compact and light weight it provides me with great magnification and I even went so far as to buy an attachment for it to adapt to my Samsung galaxy note 5. (See my video of the adapter and Phone)
Back to nature, It was so quiet I found myself tip toeing around so as not to disturb the quiet. The Cannon river was still covered with ice although it was melted in [places allowing the gurgling river to come though adding to natures song. Along with the odd popping sound of ice cracking.
As usual I recorded my the walkabout for prosperity and uploaded the video to my You tube channel. The title of the video was “JUST 2 WORDS, a winter walkabout.” I thought it appropriate. Simply because I don’t have the flair for words need to describe the place I was and how It made me feel.
I had stopped to have a quick ‘cuppa”coffee using my canteen set with my Bush box stove. I was just there enjoying the quiet time in the wilderness. I could not think of how to describe this walkabout. So was born a video with the title. The only 2 words spoken in the video are…JUST SAYING !.
Be safe out there.
Remember “Knowledge is a survival skill.”
The Novice Survivalist
For those of you who don’t know. I have a You Tube Channel. Actually two. But I post videos on the “2nd Chance George channel”, of my camping and survival ideas and dirt time tests of it.
So you may find it useful. Check out the play lists. I have been putting them in some kind of order. There are camping ideas, survival tips and some misc. Of interest. Make a cup of coffee and give it a look. Some very good channels listed. And of course if you like the content. Subscribe or share it with a friend you think maybe interested.
The easy way is to go to my references page and choose a video and it will take you to my channel
Enjoy and let me know what you think.
Stay safe and as always be prepared for the unwanted
Knowledge is a survival skill
The Novice Survivalist
Well finally got to do some dirt time on the series 10 C’s of Survival. My learning curve of survival in a emergency situation. Something , as you know I have been interested in. Actually the reason for the website. So with the weather being un-cooperative I spent some time going through my camping, walkabout “stuff” I carry with me, looking at CONTAINERS that would be useful should I find myself in an unplanned situation where survival knowledge would get me home safely.
I have added this video to the Reference page under dirt time . Its been wanting for a while so check it out. Maybe you have some ideas on container’s you carry that would be useful and how you would use it should it become necessary. Check out the other dirt time videos while you are there.
Containers part of the 10 C’s of survival. You will be surprised what you carry with you and with a bit of thought use for survival. Give you “kits ” a look from a container point of view…
Knowledge is a survival Skill
Just saying !!!!!!
The Novice Survivalist
Since moving to Minnesota I have renewed my passion for wandering the outdoors. I did it before but never as much as here. I love the outdoors. It settles a bad day or just lets me spend some alone time walking about. I have yet to go on a walkabout and be disappointed. Nature is a strong resource for me.
It (Nature) offers just about all the quiet time, interesting views, scenes of wonder, animals and birds you can shake a stick at. Love that expression….finally got to use it on a blog. Ha ha. Seriously though the outdoors can offer anybody and everybody something. I try to get out as much as possible. Any opportunity or spare time I have I am out there. Some times its just a quick fifteen minutes. Some times a good couple hours. Either way I get the most out of it.
I look for places to go where ever I am. I go on-line and search for local trails and parks. I have a number of apps I use to find even more and have started to travel further and further out of my “local” area.
This year I plan on going even further.
In Minnesota I see a lot of families and couples walking the trails or even biking. Some thing I never had the opportunity to do. I have one regret. The fact that it took a serious medical issue to get me back out. I had lost my way to the outdoors, And this helped be find my way back.
Life is busy especially in this day and age. Don’t let the outdoors go unappreciated. Get out and say hello. Show your children and friends just all the wonderous things it has to offer. Walk about, camp and explore. You wont be disappointed ….
The novice Survivalist
Here’s a quickie I had to opportunity to squeeze in. Check it out
Hello to all. Well now that I have finally started to get me feet on the ground in the new play ground…..Minnesota. I went on my first Kayak camp. Playing safe I went to a small State park not to far from home. Rice Lake State park. Its more of a walking, hiking , car camping park. Although they do offer 5 kayak/canoe paddle in sites. The lake was very shallow and kept that way to help the wild fowl in the area. Don’t get me wrong I really enjoyed my overnight camp. It was fun, as any camp trip for me is. Anywhere in the out doors makes for fun.
However once again I had issues with the way my Kayak performed when loaded up. Granted a Hobie Outback is really designed as a fishing kayak it can hold a lot of gear. Its naturally a slow wide stable kayak.
That’s why I bought it. Looking at pictures from the trip I noticed how overloaded I am. This was an over nighter. It was packed to the hilt. I seem to have gone back to over kill again. I need to slim down. No not me, what I carry on my kayak trips. This is also going to affect walk in camping which I plan to start doing, now I am in Minnesota. Minimal is the word. Well not absolute but as minimal as possible. This is my new mantra…”Minimalize as much as is possible while being as safe as possible.”
This means taking a look at survival/emergency gear I am carrying. As well as the other “normal camping stuff” I carry. I need to look at my walk in packs and my kayak packs dry bags etc. I currently carry when camping.
So new task coming up.
I will have to pull out each dry bag, pack, stuff bag etc. and go through them one at a time to remove any culprits that’s really don’t need to be there. Size and weight being what I am looking to get rid of. So off to pull out the “Gizmos and tools” I seem to have so much of, and start whittling down. Stay tuned.
Remember knowledge is a survival skill.
The Novice Survivalist