Friday, March 24, 2017

The Tinder Rasp & The Tinder Cloth

In my article The Survival Bread I demonstrated how bread can be made from rasped tree bark

Later it turned out that the flour / rasp was excellent as tinder. Then, some while ago I made The Torch by wrapping waxed cloth around a stick.

I had some leftovers from said cloth and had the idea to put the tinder on the cloth to see what happened: Turned out that the combination of both is a really good fire starter!

Rasp tinder + waxed cloth =
Total Success!

In the picture: DIY tinder rasp, rasp, was cloth and a flint striker.

The wax cloth fulfils two functions:
a) It keeps the tinder dry from the moist ground
b) It keeps the tinder burning for up to ten minutes
Here I make tree flour / tinder with the tinder rasp.
The rasp will be collected in the jam jar.
How the lid looks like: Check my article The Survival Bread
on how I made it.
That`s a whole bunch of tinder / flour!

Enough talk! Let`s set fire to it!

Works every time!

After 5 minutes: Lots of time to carefully feed the fire.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

These Boots Are Made For Walking

I am not the greatest advocate for the concept of "bugging out" (leaving your home with a maximum of equipment, relocating to a safe place). And unless a radioactive cloud is drifting our way, a horde of raiding Mongols is at the doorstep or we are under risk of being black bagged due to our political/religious views.......I do not see any reason to leave.

The whole "Bugging In VS. Bugging Out" topic is discussed with religious fervor, especially those who by default pack their family and run to the woods when the lights go out are fast calling those who disagrees "idiots" or "sheeple". 

One tries to explain that it takes several square kilometers of forest to feed one person, not to mention a family. Usually you get an ancestral anecdote at this point, about a grandfather who managed to feed a large family by birch bark, slugs and prayers.

This is usually meant to make you/me shut up and feel bad because I am such a "civilization cripple" and a "soft Scandinavian"".

But if you dig a bit deeper you will find out that those actually have no plan apart from posting impressive pictures of themselves in camo gear and "tactical" (as opposed to "practical") backpack on some forum.

But lets get back to the topic before I start an endless rant about "Facebook Preppers" .

You cant build a house without a strong foundation, and you can not walk longer distances without proper footwear..or at least be less comfortable (Yes, I used the word "comfortable" !).

I have been walking quite a lot lately and I will only let the best and most comfortable footwear touch my sensible feet..why make it harder on myself?

So, you need a pair of boots.  Since feet are as individual as thumbprints you should go to a professional and get some advise.

I strongly advise you to:

- not to buy a set of cool looking "tactical" boots because they are advocated for on some forum.

- do not go cheap...everyone I walked +20 km with over the last year regretted their purchase/use of outlet foot coffins.

You can cut corners on knife purchases but not on your boots:-)

Personally I like Ecco boots: I like the comfort and durability.
This is the pair I am using right now to prepare myself for the Dodentocht walk in August.
This picture is taken in 2013 right after I bought them.

And this picture shows them how they look now:
Bit scraped and dirty but still in good shape after 3 years of use/abuse.

The inside of the boot is still smooth and clean: No risk for blisters.

Hand on my heart: The Ecco BIOM Terrain are the best boots I ever owned.

So I went out and bought a similar pair!

This one is also made out of Yak leather which makes the boot virtually bulletproof.

So I have a pair of boots for everyday use / training and a set of "bugging out" boots.

Personally I do not hope that I/we have to bug out on foot, I prefer to use our bicycles and the trailers/bags we can use in connection with them.

See: Bugging Out By Bike

However, you should buy a set of boots suiting your individual needs (go to a Orthopedician and get some correctional inlets or soles if need be) and walk a 10 km distance at leastonce a week. Only then you will be sure that your boots will be ready when you need them.

Monday, March 20, 2017

How My Swiss Tool Saved My Daugthers Life

I think that, for a great part, the fascination with EDC comes from a deep rooted desire of "saving the day" and win the admiration of all girls in the room by whipping out just the RIGHT high-in-demand item in a crisis situation. The unlikely odds doesn't stop most of us: Wearing equipment heavy cargo pants rendering us semi immobile (and get weird looks at social events) ...because hey:
I own a multi tool too: It`s great, by white clad tech-monks in a secret Swiss research facility in the Reduite somewhere. And so heavy and expensive that I never care to carry it with me. So it has a comfortable life as conversation starter on a shelf in our living room.
That's one heavy lump of Swiss beauty.
BUT I actually saved my youngest daughter from asphyxiation last summer using that said multi tool:
My hopeful spawn managed to shove a piece of crayon up her nose, so large in fact that it would not come out again.
The crayon reacted with the mucus in her nose and became extremely slippery and impossible to grab.
Every attempt to get it out just shoved up more, the crayon started to dissolve and the slime started to block her airways (my wife called the ambulance right away before it managed to get so far) so I asked for the Swiss Tool because it has a slim set of pliers with a good grip etched onto the tip.
And the only thing I could think of at that moment (tunnel view and all).
And I got it! It was probably very painful for her but I got that f...g piece of murderous crayon out of her before something could happen I rather NOT think about.
Trust me: That "happy" face of mine
is a shock reaction.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

IKEA Cooking Gear

I  think IKEA has unknowingly equipped many a survivalist or prepper (yes, there is a difference) with low price / high quality outdoor gear.The IKEA Hobo Stove for instance.
Anyhow, as a Scandinavian expat and survivalist in Poland a trip to IKEA is not only agony for me: Most curtain rods in there make awesome blowguns....and it`s one of the few places in Poland where I can buy LICORICE and Marabou chocolate....oh baby!
Anyhow, I found this little cooking gear...for kids.
I liked the quality of the set: Thick walled steel, the pots have the capacity of a small Kelly Kettle Pot Set and the price is below 8 Euro.
So not much lost by buying a set and put it to the test.
Naturally I can not make a judgment on one test, so this is the first of many ( I hope).
But I can say so much that I was pretty pleased with the results of the first test.

"Duktig" is Swedish for: good, capable, efficient, smart, 
brave, powerful, useful and strong.
Big words for a cooking set for kids!

Hey, that`s my age group! And boys like cooking too! 😁

All 5 components are made out of sturdy steel.

This is how The IKEA Hobo Stove looks like after
nearly 3 years of heavy use.

The pot holder is made out of a coat hanger.

"Why don`t you cut a window on the side of the hobo stove? It is much
better because you can ad fuel while cooking!"

Answer: Because then I can not put so much fuel in to the stove. 
More fuel = longer fire=no need for window.

Time for moose soup!
The DUKTIG pot fits perfect in the hobo stove.
Capacity: 450 ml

My favourite!

And an egg to keep the protein/carb balance!

Friday, March 17, 2017

Machete + Firewood = Tons Of Fun

When we moved in to our new house we arrived before the moving truck containing gardening equipment including our ax(es).

I wanted to start the fireplace to make the house tolerable warm (or: just less freezing) and had a go at the left over firewood from the previous owners.

All my hopes regarding nicely split/dry wood were in vain of course, so I used a old/cheap/crappy machete to baton the living crap out of that firewood!

PS: Works also fine with old kitchen just need to go out and buy new knives afterward.

PPS: Just in case you ask yourself: "His axe was in the moving truck but he had a MACHETE?!" Well, I have weird priorities...happy now?

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

The Windshield Shade Solar Cooker

I like to prepare food with Solar Cookers, and in my posts The Cardboard Solar Cooker and The Cardboard Solar Cooker Part 2 I managed to cook rice and even make pizza.
But I wanted to see if an improvised Solar Cooker could do the same.
Obviously "improvised" means "not as effective" but I would be happy if I could cook just a smaller meal or speed up the SODIS - Solar Water Disinfection process.

I decided to make myself a hobo onion for lunch:
Take an onion...

...carve a hole in it...

...and fill with butter or like on the picture: Feta Cheese.

Using as Solar Cooker: Cheapest possible windshield shade.

I put the hobo onion in a baking bag.

I wrap (drape?) the windshield shade around a garden chair
and try to form a funnel. I keep the shade in place with
clothespins and similar.

And then the sun came out......WHOA!

45 minutes later: A nicely baked hobo onion.

Goes well with Ciabata and Tzatziki!

Saturday, March 11, 2017

The Highwayman Hitch

The Highwayman(s) Hitch (or "Dick Turpin Knot") is a slip knot but has the advantage that it will not loosen when the load carrying end gets slack. So if you need to release a lot of weight safe and FAST this is the knot for you!

Legend has it  that this knot was used to tie the horses legs together.....which sounds implausible and a great way to get kicked in the head by thy pissed off mount.

Anyway, W.E Fairbairn taught this knot to commandos during WW2 to "secure a prisoner".

Follow the steps on the pictures and you will be able to tie that knot in no time.....even if you are a representant of "Generation Yotube" and not able to process non-predigested information: You can do it! 

This is the easiest way of tying the knot.
Put it in front of an object/arm/leg as illustrated.

Back/to the side/and up on the opposite end.

Over/over/and to the back of the same side you started.

Now pull the short end of through the loop I was holding with my right hand.
Pull tight!


Now put an object/arm/leg through the loop.
The object works as a dowel and the knot can`t be opened until it is removed.

When object is removed it opens easily by just pulling the short end.