Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Over 20 Methods To Make Fire

Can of Coke and a Chocolate Bar
No joke ... it has been done! Here's how!
A Wildwood Survival exclusive - featured on Mythbusters (but it was here they got the idea)

  • Fire by Cans, Part II
    Further explorations of "Fire from a Can of Coke and a Chocolate Bar"

  • Fire From Ice!
    Yes, it is possible! See it here!
  • Fire from Water!Yup, no kidding! Thanks to Rob Bicevskis for this!
  • Materials
    Information about what meterials to use to make fire-making equipment
  • Bow DrillThe old standby. Uses a bow to spin a drill on a second piece of wood, creating friction and heat.
  • Hand DrillThe same principle as a bow drill, but with the hands spinning the drill.
  • Pump DrillHarder to construct than a bowdrill, but a lot less work to use.
  • Fire Boards
    These are what seats the drill at the bottom in the "drill-type" fire making methods.
  • Fire Piston
    A  rather unique method of making fire that relies on air heating up under compression..
  • Fire Plow
    Not just a tropical alternative! See pictures and a movie of this using native materials in Ontario. Also one from Arizona.
  • Fire Saw
    Pictures and movies of this bamboo-based fire-making method
  • Flint-and-Steel
    Info, pictures & a movie of a flint-and-steel set making fire
  • Reflectors
    Mirrors, etc.
  • Magnifiers
    Magnifying lenses, including fire from a light bulb!
  • Two Stones
    Starting fire using just two stones
  • Spontaneous Combustion
    Oil-soaked rags and the like
  • Lava
    The easiest one of all, if you happen to be near a liquid lava flow!
  • Carbide
    Not really a primitive method, but here it is
  • Magnesium & Ferrocerium
    An easy but non-primitive fire starter you can buy in any outdoor store
  • Batteries
    It's actually quite easy to make fire using a small flashlight battery or two
  • Other fire-making methods
    Miscellaneous other methods
  • Something's burning in the kitchen
    Experimentations by Rob Bicevskis

  • Source:

    Monday, July 11, 2016

    Martial Law in the United States

    Martial Law in the United States: How Likely is it, and What will happen under Martial law?

    The march towards martial law is something that is often ignored by the general public, often labeled as Quackery or something belonging on conspiracy websites. But what’s happening in this country is exactly what our founders warned us about, and martial law is something they took very, very seriously.

    What is martial law?

    If you’re looking for a definition, then Martial Law basically means using state or national military force to enforce the will of the government on the people.
    Under a declaration of martial law, Constitutional freedoms and liberties are suspended, and civilians are no longer entitled to their civil rights. It basically allows the government, or a tyrannical politician, to shred the Constitution and impose its will through military force.

    History of Martial Law in the United States of America

    “Those that fail to learn from history, are doomed to repeat it.”Winston Churchill
    In one way or another, there have always been tyrants who have used the power of government to suppress and control the public. But if we are looking for specific examples of Martial Law being used inside the United States, we don’t have to look very hard or far to find them.
    Using the strictest definition of the term, we can see the roots of martial law in America take hold during the lead up to the Revolutionary war. Although there were many reasons for the war, including resistance to taxes imposed by the British parliament, the main catalyst was England’s decision to use military troops to enforce everyday law throughout the colonies.

    The beginning of the end? The Civil War Ushers in a Strong Central Government through Martial Law Enforcement

    Civil War Soldiers
    Flash forward a hundred years, and many of the most egregious examples of martial law can be found throughout the civil war. While today’s history books largely ignore the real reasons for the war or the many atrocities committed by President Lincoln, the facts of what really happened cannot be disputed.
    The reason we have lost so many of our liberties can be tied directly to the civil war.
    On September 15, 1863, President Lincoln imposed Congressionally-authorized martial law. While history contends the war was fought to end slavery, the truth is, Lincoln by his own admission never really cared about freeing slaves. In fact, Lincoln never intended to abolish slavery, his main interest was centralizing government power and using the federal government to exert complete control over all citizens. The abolishment of slavery was only a byproduct of the war. It actually took the 13th amendment to end slavery, since Lincoln actually only freed Southern slaves, not slaves in states loyal to the Union.
    During the Civil War, Lincoln continually violated the Constitution, in some cases suspending the entire Constitution that he swore to uphold.  
    • He suspended the writ of Habeas Corpus without the consent of congress.
    • He shut down newspapers whose writers displayed any dissent to Union policy or spoke out against him.
    • He raised troops without the consent of Congress.
    • He closed courts by force.
    • He even imprisoned citizens, newspaper owners,and elected officials without cause and without a trial.
    Our founders were very wary of using the military to enforce public policy, and concerns about this type of abuse date back to, and largely influenced, the creation of the Constitution. The founders continually warned about using military force to uphold law and order; unfortunately, most Americans are rather ignorant of history and are even more ignorant to what our founders intended when they created the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

    What will happen under Martial law?

    Military Style SWAT Team Raid
    The actual words martial law will probably never be used.
    The first thing you will likely see is a declaration of a “State of Emergency”. This may be done nationally, in cases of war or a large-scale terrorist attacks; or it may happen locally, as witnessed in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
    In August of 2005, New Orleans was declared a disaster area and a state of emergency was declared by the governor. This allowed state officials to order evacuations and forcefully remove residents from their homes, suspend certain laws, confiscate firearms, and suspend the sale of items like liquor, firearms, and ammunition.
    In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans police, the U.S. Marshals office, and the Louisiana National Guard forcibly confiscated over 1,000 legal firearms from law-abiding citizens.
    Depending on the reasons behind the declaration you may also see:
    • The suspension of the Constitution, probably starting with the first and second amendment.
    • Confiscation of firearms; it has happened and it will happen again.
    • Suspension of Habeas corpus: Imprisonment without due process and without a trial.
    • Travel Restrictions, including road closures and possibly, even quarantine zones.
    • Mandatory Curfews and Mandatory Identification.
    • Automatic search and seizures without a warrant.

    When can Martial Law be enacted?

    Military Force
    When Martial Law can be enacted is a pretty touchy subject, largely because our founders never intended the federal government or a standing army be permitted to take such actions. Unfortunately, most people accept these unconstitutional activities and are more than willing to give up their essential liberties in exchange for peace of mind and not having to think for themselves.
    This is something Benjamin Franklin warned about when he famously wrote,
    “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

    How likely is martial law in the United States?

    Let’s face it, this country is a ticking time bomb. From widespread social unrest, crime, and violence to a growing national debt which includes an entire subset of our population that depends on government assistance to exist, the writing is on the wall: Trouble is Coming.
    Riots in the Streets of America
    In my opinion, we are already under a form of martial law. The founders never intended standing armies policing the citizens of the United States; sadly that is exactly what we have.
    Drones, armored vehicles with high power weapons, tanks, and battlefield helicopters are no longer something that you see on some foreign battlefield; it’s now standard operating procedure at police stations throughout the country. Our federal government has poured billions of dollars into militarizing and taking over our country’s local police forces, in what can only be described as a domestic military force or standing army meant to enforce federal law.
    President Bush Expands Martial Law Authority
    George Bush Signing Bill
    On September 29, 2006, President George W. Bush signed the John Warner National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2007 (H.R. 5122). The law expanded the President’s authority to declare Martial Law under revisions to the Insurrection Act and actually allowed the President to take charge of National Guard troops without state governor authorization.
    While certain aspects of the bill were rolled back in 2008, President Obama used the 2012 NDAA to further strengthen the Executive offices ability to declare Martial Law and added provisions that would allow military troops to detain U.S. citizens without a trial.
    President Obama Forms National Police Task Force; Uses Social unrest as Justification.
    Obama Signing Bill
    In March of 2015, the Obama administration put together a task force that outlined rules for our nation’s police.
    In his Task Force on 21st-century policing report, he outlined the formation of a National Policing Practices and Accountability Division within the federal government. The report went on to describe how the Department of Homeland Security could be used to “ensure that community policing tactics in state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies are incorporated into their role in homeland security.”
    Increasing number of Joint Police/Military Drills are using American Citizens as Theoretical Threats.
    Military Style Police Force
    From the Jade Helm Military drills that classified Texas and Utah as hostile zones, to National Guard troops in California using crisis actors to portray “right-wing” U.S. citizens in their training exercises, there is a growing number of military-style drills that are portraying American citizens as the perceived threat.
    Back in 2012, an army report about the future use of the military as a police force within the United States looked at theoretical situations where the U.S. Army could be used against Tea Party “insurrectionists” who take over U.S. cities. During that same time period, the Department of Homeland Security released a report titled, “Hot Spots of Terrorism and Other Crimes in the United States,” where they outlined who the federal government sees as the largest terrorist threat in the country – that threat was U.S. citizens with extreme “right-wing” views.
    The United Stated of America that our Founders created is gone; it’s been replaced by a system that has grown so powerful that most people don’t even realize they’ve become enslaved by that very system.
    So how likely is Martial Law in the United States? Well, it’s already here; unfortunately, most people will choose to ignore the reality of the situation.


    Monday, June 27, 2016

    How to Make Apple Pie Moonshine

    Apple Pie Moonshine

    So, you want to know how to make apple pie moonshine, eh? You've come to the right place.
    Apple pie shine is probably the most popular and sought after type of bootleg whiskey ever made, and for good reason - it's delicious. We've already posted procedures for making a basic mash and even instructions on making peach moonshine. Here is our favorite (high octane) apple pie moonshine recipe.
    apple pie moonshine 2 small


    Prep time: 5 minutes.
    Cook time: 30 minutes.
    Yield: Just over 2 quarts of 70 proof Apple Pie Moonshine.
    Taste: Absolutely yummy, but knock your socks off strong.


    1 quart of 150 proof, pure corn whiskey moonshine (everclear could be used as a substitute).
    3 cans of frozen apple concentrate.
    8 cinnamon sticks.
    0-2 cups brown sugar*.
    *Depending on how sweet you want it to be, you may add up to twice as much of these particular items (in other words, 1 or 2 cups of brown sugar instead of none).


    The "Instant Satisfaction" Method

    First, add the apple concentrate, cinnamon sticks and brown sugar to a pot. Bring to a boil and then simmer on very low heat, covered, for 20-30 minutes. Stir a few times as it is heating up to dissolve the sugar. Heating causes the cinnamon sticks to release their flavor very quickly, allowing you to be able to drink it immediately. I like to call this the "instant satisfaction" method.
    After simmering, remove the pot from heat and let it cool.  Make sure it is completely cool, and none of the burners on the stove are on before moving on to the next step.
    After the mixture has cooled, split it between 4 pint jars (or 2 quart jars). Top the jars off with 150 proof corn whiskey. Remember, 100+ proof moonshine is flammable. You do not want to do this anywhere near a heat source.
    If you completed all of the steps, congratulations, you just made your very own apple pie moonshine. You can start enjoying the fruits of your labor immediately.  
    The "no-boil" method
    They say that good things come to those who wait, and we think that this statement applies to apple pie moonshine as well as it does to anything else. If you want to make a truly supreme batch of apple pie shine, you'll want to use this method. The "instant satisfaction" method listed above causes flavor to be rapidly released from cinnamon sticks, making your batch instantly drinkable. However, "steeping" the ingredients overnight, without boiling, produces a better product. Why? Well, we aren't exactly sure, but we think that boiling the cinnamon sticks cause additional flavors to be released, making the final product ever so slightly bitter. The "no boil" method provides 100% of the flavor with none of the bitterness.
    Beware, this recipe is high proof. A lot of recipes call for adding a gallon apple this and a gallon of apple that, but by the time you're done adding all that liquid, you've dropped your proof down into the baby formula range. Apple concentrate provides apple flavor without compromising proof. This stuff sneaks up on you - and then it punches you in the face! But it's oh, so good.

    apple pie moonshine spice mix

    Gourmet Apple Pie Moonshine

    The above mentioned recipe (cinnamon, sugar, and apple juice concentrate only) will make a great batch of apple pie moonshine. However, add spices like ginger, orange peel, cloves, allspice, vanilla bean, peppercorn, etc... and you'll have something that will make your tastebuds do backflips. There are plenty of recipes on the web for more complicated versions of apple pie moonshine. Some of them are great, other are OK, but most are sorely lacking. We know this firsthand here at Clawhammer Supply, because we've tried a lot of them out. We did this because we've been working on a top secret project for a while now - the creation of a perfect blend of apple pie moonshine spices. After making many, many test batches, and drinking a lot, lot, lot of apple pie moonshine, we finally landed on a recipe that we're 100% sure will melt your tastebuds into a puddle of awesomeness. We proudly present to you our very own Apple Pie Moonshine Spice Mix. Check out that link to buy some, or head on over to our sister site, How to Make Apple Pie Moonshine for more info and additional recipes.

    Hot Apple Pie Moonshine

    If you would like to serve up some hot apple pie moonshine, here's what we would suggest.  Use the recipe above to make standard apple pie moonshine.  Then, buy a couple of gallons of apple cider and spice it to taste using the same ingredients above.  Heat it in a crock pot WITHOUT the apple pie moonshine.  (You don't want to add the moonshine because you'll vaporize all of the alcohol if you heat it over a long period of time.)  Just set the jar of apple pie moonshine next to the crock pot and let your guests add a bit (or a lot) to each cup of cider they pour.



    How to Make Charcoal

    Two Methods:Lighting a BonfireUsing Two Drums

    Lump charcoal, which is made by burning pieces of wood until all the impurities are gone and only the coal remains, is an excellent choice for outdoor grilling. It's expensive to buy lump charcoal at the store, but making your own is a cheap and simple solution. Read on to learn how to make it using two different methods.

    Lighting a Bonfire

      Locate an area where you can build an outdoor fire. You may be able to do this in your backyard, or you may need to secure a different site with a permit. Check your city's ordinances on outdoor fires.

    2. Image titled Make Charcoal Step 2
      Get a metal drum. This is the container into which you'll put the wood. Choose a drum as large or as small as you'd like, depending on how much charcoal you want to make. Make sure it has a flame-proof lid.
    3. Image titled Make Charcoal Step 3
      Pick out wood to make into charcoal. What type of wood do you want to use for your charcoal? Choose wood that has been cured. Cherry wood, oak wood, or hickory wood all work well.[1] Check around to see if people in your area have wood for sale, or pick up some at a home and garden supply store. You'll need enough to fill up your drum to the top. Chop the wood into 4-inch pieces.[2]
    4. Image titled Make Charcoal Step 4
      Fill the drum with the cured wood. Pack the drum tightly with wood, and fill it all the way to the top. Put the lid on the drum. It should close well enough to stay in place, but you don't want it to be airtight.
    5. Image titled Make Charcoal Step 5
      Prepare to light a bonfire. Buy or gather extra wood to make a bonfire that will burn for 3 - 5 hours. Build it up on your chosen site. Leave a hole in the middle for the drum. Put the drum in the hole and cover it with more wood.[3]
    6. Image titled Make Charcoal Step 6
      Burn the bonfire. Keep it going for at least 3 hours, more if you're using a large drum packed with wood. Let the fire completely burn out and cool down before approaching the drum.
    7. Image titled Make Charcoal Step 7
      Remove the lump coal. When you open the lid, you'll see a fresh batch of pure lump coal. Use it to grill for the rest of the summer.

      Method 2

    Using Two Drums

    1. Image titled Make Charcoal Step 8
      Buy a small drum and a larger drum. The small drum must fit in the larger one with plenty of room to spare. Using a 30 gallon (113.6 L) drum inside a 55 gallon (208.2 L) drum works well.[4]
    2. Image titled Make Charcoal Step 9
      Cut a fuel hold in the larger drum. Use a metal jigsaw blade to make a square cut in the base of the larger drum. It should be about 12 inches (30.5 cm) by 20 inches (50.8 cm). You'll need this hole to feed fuel into the drum to keep the contents hot.
    3. Image titled Make Charcoal Step 10
      Drill holes in the bottom of the smaller drum. This allows the extreme heat to pass into the the smaller drum, cooking the wood inside. Drill 5 or 6 1/2-inch holes in the base of the drum.
    4. Image titled Make Charcoal Step 11
      Fill the small drum with cured wood. Cherry wood, oak wood, or hickory wood chopped into 4-inch pieces is ideal. Pack the drum tightly, then put the lid on top, cracked so moisture can come out.[5]
    5. Image titled Make Charcoal Step 12
      Make a stand in the larger drum. Place two bricks flat in the bottom of the big drum, one on each side. Stand two more bricks on their long edges on top of the flat bricks. This stand keeps the smaller drum from touching the bottom of the bigger drum, allowing you to feed fuel underneath.
    6. Image titled Make Charcoal Step 13
      Place the smaller drum on the stand. Make sure it fits well within the larger drum; if it doesn't, use smaller bricks or stones to make a smaller stand. Put the lid on the larger drum, leaving it cracked open for air flow.
    7. Image titled Make Charcoal Step 14
      Build a fire inside the big drum and let it burn for 7-8 hours. Use wood and kindling to make a fire, feeding the materials through the feeder hole in the bottom of the drum. As the fire gets going, feed it larger pieces of wood.
      • Keep an eye on the fire; when it gets low, feed it more wood.
      • You want the fire to get as hot as possible, so keep feeding dense wood.
    8. Image titled Make Charcoal Step 15
      Let the fire burn out. After 7-8 hours, the impurities, moisture, and gasses will have burned out of the wood, leaving pure charcoal behind. Let the fire burn out and the entire contraption completely cool before you approach it.
    9. Image titled Make Charcoal Step 16
      Remove the charcoal. Empty the small drum into a container and store the charcoal for later use.

    Tuesday, June 14, 2016

    The AR-15 Is NOT An Assault Rifle

    The Orlando terrorist made the AR-15 his weapon of choice to slaughter 49 innocent Americans inside the Pulse nightclub in downtown Orlando, Florida. That act of terrorism has caused media outlets and anti-gun politicians to call the AR-15 the “mass shooter’s weapon of choice” and renewed calls for a ban on assault rifles.

    [scroll down for video]
    Yet by any definition of the term, the AR-15 is not an assault rifle – it simply is not capable of doing what an assault rifle does.

    What defines an assault rifle?

    There are many criteria such as the use of detachable magazines (something almost all modern firearms do), and the use of an intermediate cartridge such as the .223 or 5.56 caliber ammunition used by an AR-15.
    But the primary difference between an AR-15 style modern sporting rifle and an assault rifle is selective fire – the ability to switch from semi-automatic and fully automatic fire.

    The AR-15 rifle is a gas powered, semi-automatic rifles which means that one press of the trigger results in one round being fired. The United States military uses weapons like the M-16 and the M4 that both look like an AR-15 but provide both fully automatic fire and three-round burst fire – both of which are not possible with an AR-15.

    Just because they look the same, doesn’t mean they function the same.

    The AR-15 looks almost identical to the M16 and M4 carbine assault rifles for a very simple reason. It’s an almost ideal rifle with exceptional ergonomics and design — almost like the military spent millions of dollars and decades working on the design and refining it to be a very high quality rifle. Oh wait, they did.
    Beyond the ergonomics and functionality, what draws people to the AR-15 is that it is heavily customizable like it’s similar looking but very differently functioning military cousins.

    Users can add scopes, lasers, suppressors, slings, and various handles. They can even change out the lower portion of the gun and the magazine allowing for total customization to whatever is best for the user.
    How similar do they look? Here’s a Marine aiming an M4 carbine:

    In comparison, here’s a civilian holding an AR-15 rifle:

    While they have similar looks, the functionality takes one from a military rifle to a civilian version that looks similar, but misses the key military function.

    Things the media gets wrong about AR-15 rifles.

    The AR-15 is not a “high powered” rifle. Yes, it has more power than a handgun – all rifles do. But when you’re talking about rifles, the AR-15’s .223 / 5.56mm ammunition is considered so low powered that it is banned from hunting large game like deer and elk because it cannot humanely take them down in one shot like most other rifle calibers can.
    In some states like Washington, all big game must be hunted with a minimum of .24 caliber ammunition – relegating the AR-15 to small game and varmint duty exactly because it is a low-powered rifle.
    Most hunters today choose .308 or .300 Win Mag as their ammunition of choice. The difference in size is clear in this picture:

    Politicians and the media not only exaggerate the power of the AR-15, they love to tell the public that it has an almost impossible ability to fire rapidly.
    Just hours after the Orlando terror attack, Democratic Congressman Alan Grayson (D-FL), went on CNN and told the audience:

    “If [the terrorist] was not able to buy a weapon that shoots off 700 rounds in a minute, a lot of those people would still be alive. That’s exactly right. If somebody like him had nothing worse to deal with than a Glock pistol… he might have killed three or four people and not 50. It’s way too easy to kill people in America today and we have to think long and hard about what to do about that.”
    Congressman Grayson’s comments on national television were so farcical as to bring a $50,000 charitable challenge from conservative commentator Conrad Close:

    Close is confident in his actions because the AR-15 cannot fire anywhere close to 700 rounds per minute because of its semi-automatic design requiring one trigger press for each round fired.
    Most likely, Grayson got the 700 rounds per minute number from the military M-16 and M-4, both of which – when put in fully automatic modes that the AR-15 does not have – shoot at around 700 rounds per minute.

    That was far from the anti-gun Congressman’s only factual faux pas of the day, as he claimed “a Glock pistol” can only target “three or four people”, despite the standard magazine for the Glock 17 the terrorist used holding 17 rounds.
    Rather than call out Grayson for his falsehoods, CNN’s Erin Burnett agreed and said, “You’re right about that. Thank you very much.”

    AR does not stand for Assault Rifle

    This one gets its own category because so many people in the media repeat the lie. The “AR” in AR-15 does not stand for Assault rifle in any way. It stands for “ArmaLite Rifle” after the firm that designed the weapon in the 1950s.

    Save this for article for the coming weeks as politicians and the media continue to mislead the public through either ignorance, negligence, or malice.


    Thursday, June 9, 2016

    4 Reasons To Add a Pellet Air Gun To Your Survival Gun Arsenal

    You read the heading correct – I said Pellet Gun. Yes, the kind powered by air – just 1 step above a BB gun. I own many guns of many calibers and styles for many different purposes. Among these is a good quality Pellet Air Gun and it’s not just because I still have it from when I was a kid. I INTENTIONALLY have added this gun to my survival rifle options for very specific reasons…which I have detailed below.  If you’ve never considered a Pellet Gun as a survival rifle option, you might change your mind after reading this post.
    Next to my 12 Gauge Mossberg and my Ruger 10-22 sits a very cool and collected Benjamin Sheridan 392 .22 caliber Multi-Pump Pellet Gun and I treat it with the same respect as it is a very specialized soldier in my arsenal.

    Benjamin Sheridan 392 .22 Cal Multi-Pump Pellet Gun

    Benjamin Sheridan 392 .22 Cal Multi-Pump Pellet Gun
    As a student and instructor of survival living, I take my gun choices very seriously and only add one to my cabinet if it deserves to be there.  Below are 4 reasons (in no particular order) why a Pellet Gun deserves to be including in your Survival Rifle selection:

    Survival Reason # 1: Excellent Small Game Hunter

    A pellet gun, especially .22 caliber, is an excellent weapon to take down small game.  While people have taken larger game such as wild boars with air guns, they are best suited for small game.  Hunting small game is perfect for any survivalist.  Rabbit, squirrel, dove, quail, duck and the like are excellent food sources and are readily available in most of the country.  With practice, hunting small game with a pellet gun is absolutely no problem.

    Small Game Hunter

    Small Game Hunter
    I have taken many small game animals with my .22 cal pellet gun.  It requires better stalking skills, but that is a good skill to learn anyway.  It requires better shooting skills, but that is also a good skill to hone in on.  Hunting with a pellet gun will force you to be a BETTER hunter and it will also put dinner on the table.  For an interesting photo gallery of pellet gun hunting kills visit: http://www.adventuresinairguns.com/gallery56-i-12.html

    Survival Reason # 2: The AMMO

    The Pellet Gun’s AMMO is one of the more convincing reasons to have one on hand.  Pellets, no matter the caliber, are very cheap.

    .177 cal Pellets - 500 Count for $10

    .177 cal Pellets - 500 Count for $10
    You can buy 100s of pellets for just a few bucks.  Spend $50 and you’ve got enough to last a lifetime of small game hunting.  If all hell breaks loose, traditional ammunition will become increasingly difficult to get your hands on.  Not to mention that it will be ridiculously expensive.  If the world we live in ever gets this way, why waste your traditional ammo on hunting squirrel or other small game?  That would be wasteful and careless if there was a smarter way.  There is – PELLETS.

    1000s of Pellets Fit into Small Spaces

    1000s of Pellets Fit into Small Spaces
    Not only are pellets DIRT CHEAP, they are very small.  You can carry 1000s and not even know they are there.  You can store 10s of 1000s in just 1 shoe box.  To top it off, pellets have a shelf life of pretty much FOREVER!  Traditional ammunition can go bad over time.  Especially with the talks of giving ammunition an expiration date, stocking a few 1000 pellets isn’t a bad idea.
    Worse case scenario you could use all these extra pellets to reload your shot-gun shells.

    Reload Empty Shotgun Shells With Pellets

    Reload Empty Shotgun Shells With Pellets

    Survival Reason # 3: Silent Shooter

    Forget the earplugs.  These guns are silent.  In many survival scenarios, a silent weapon is a good thing.  Not only can you hunt without drawing attention to yourself or your family, but shooting a silent weapon often means you can get off more than 1 shot if there are multiple targets.  Both of these are positive.  People pay 1000s of $$$ to make their guns silent.  No extra charge for the pellet gun.

    Survival Reason # 4: Powered By Air

    You don’t have to buy air.  And, it’s never going to be out of stock.  For this reason, I prefer either a MULTI-PUMP or BREAK-BARREL Pellet Air Gun.  I have opted NOT to purchase a CO2 or pneumatic powered air gun.  Needing to refill canisters or tanks doesn’t make any sense in a survival situation.  You want to keep it as old fashioned as possible.  It’s hand pump all the way for this survivalist.

    Break-Barrel Survival Pellet Guns

    Break-Barrel Survival Pellet Guns
    There are tons of options when it comes to Hand Pump or Break Barrel guns.  They both come in .177 and .22 calibers.  The fps varies depending on the gun.  My Multi-Pump Sheridan shoots 850 fps but there are models out there that shoot upwards of 1250 fps which rivals some rim-fire cartridges.  Like anything, the details are personal choices.  However, I definitely suggest a PUMP or BREAK-BARREL so that you can manually charge your air chamber rather than being dependant on other air supply products.
    So there you have it, 4 solid reasons why I keep a Pellet Gun in my survival arsenal.
    I hope this has been useful information and as always I would love you hear your thoughts and comments.


    Wednesday, June 8, 2016

    Repurpose a Spoon Into an Arrowhead

    This is a neat video that will walk you through the process of repurposing a spoon into an arrowhead. For folks that like diy projects this looks like it would be a nice indoor project. Possibly on a rainy weekend or in the winter when you really don’t want to be outdoors a lot. Brayden Casse shows you each step to make the arrowhead.

    From heating and hammering the spoon flat all through the steps to the end where he polishes the arrowhead twice. He says that you don’t need a dremel to do this project but that it would make the job a whole lot easier. If you have an avid bow hunter in your family, imagine the look on their face if you presented them with a dozen of the arrowheads as a gift for a birthday or Christmas. Some folks are hard to buy for. I know a lot of dads get ties and cologne for every occasion.

    This would be a great step away from the same ole same ole. They could probably be made into necklaces as well by soldering a loop to one side for a silver chain to go through. You may want to make the point a little dull if you were making a necklace out of the arrowhead though.


    Monday, June 6, 2016

    More Snares and Traps DIY

    diy small game survival snare for hunting in wilderness
    How to Build a Small Game Survival Snare:

    Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Creek Stewart of Willow Haven Outdoor.
    I practice and learn survival skills not because I need them on a daily basis, but rather for the one day when I must use them to stay alive.  Survival is the intersection between knowledge and necessity.    The outcome in a survival scenario can be dramatically influenced by practicing survival skills before you need them.  One such skill that requires thoughtful practice is How to Build a Small Game Survival Snare.  A primitive make-shift snare can be used to trap and kill a variety of animals for food in a survival situation.  This basic concept can also be modified and used as a “man-trap” or “perimeter alarm”–both of which are commonly deployed in guerrilla warfare.
    While constructing a survival snare is fairly simple, it is often oversimplified with vague instructions and limited photos.  By the time you finish reading this article you will know the who, what, why, when, where, and how of the simplest and most efficient survival snare known to man.  If your knowledge ever crosses paths with necessity, this may prove useful.

    The Why

    For short term survival (1-7 days), food is not a critical priority.  Shelter, water, fire, and signaling are typically more immediate concerns.  At some point, though, you must put calories on the human furnace or suffer the debilitating consequences of starvation.
    To my knowledge there isn’t one single primitive culture, tribe, or people where meat is/was not a critical component of their diet.  Modern equipment, farming, transportation, food processing, supplements, and complex supply chains give us the option not to eat meat if we choose.  Remove these luxuries for an extended period of time and the calories from meat once again become necessary for survival.  It would be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to source enough calories in a primitive survival scenario by gathering wild plant edibles alone–especially in cold weather climates or seasons.
    Time and energy conservation are both very important factors to consider in any survival situation.  This is precisely why snares are such an important survival tool.  Once constructed and set, a snare will allow you to focus on other survival priorities.  And, it will keep working even while you are sleeping.  With 10 snares you can be hunting in 10 different locations at the same time while expending ZERO energy.  You become a one man hunting party.  Snares are a survivor’s secret weapon.  Not only are snares incredibly reliable and effective, they also require very few resources to build–in materials, energy, and time.

    The Who

    Before you even think about spending time and energy on building and setting a snare, you must first determine whom (or in this case which animal) your snare is targeting.  For survival purposes, small game represents your best chance of success.  While the snare design I will show you can be scaled up to catch animals as large as deer, it is more practical to target small game animals such as rabbit, squirrel, and ground dwelling fowl such as quail or grouse.  This snare can also be modified to fish for you as well.  Not only are smaller game animals easier to catch and field dress, but you can set numerous small game snares with the same time and material resources it would cost you to set one larger snare.  Setting snares is a numbers game.  The more snares you set, the greater your odds of success.

    The When and Where

    This snare can be effective in virtually any climate and any environment on any continent.  It can be deployed any time of the year and is equally effective day and night.  From desert to rain forest, I can’t think of a place where you can’t use some version of it to catch small game.
    With that said, placing random snares throughout the woods is foolish and a waste of time and energy.  Though they can be baited to draw in animals, snares are most effective when strategically placed in-line with existing small game trails.  As you will see in the HOW section of this article, the heart of this snare is a noose which should be positioned across a frequently traveled small game path or shelter entrance such as a den or burrow.
    To be successful, you must read the forest or terrain in which you find yourself.  You must look for signs of small game traffic and activity.  These signs include scat (droppings), tracks, rubs, scratches, signs of feeding, shelter or burrow entrances, food and water sources, and well-traveled game trails.
    I took a walk in the forest here at Willow Haven Outdoor and snapped a few photos of some telltale animal signs that should catch the eye of a passing survivor.  See if you can identify the small game activity in these photos below:

    small animal burrow hole entrance under leaves
    game animal tracks through snow woods

    small animal scat dropping on forest floor leaves

    The best place for the snare I detail in the next section is across a well-traveled small game path.  These paths, called “runs,” typically lead from the nest, shelter, or den to water and food sources.  Animals are the ultimate survivors and also live by the survival code of energy conservation.  Consequently, several animals may travel the same trail or path on a regular basis.  Animals travel the path of least resistance and strategically placed snares along this path can be very effective.

    Finally…The What and the How

    There are literally hundreds of different snare sets and designs–some of which are overly complex.  If you only learn one snare design in your life, it should be what I call the Trigger Spring Snare.  I wish I could take credit for the design, but it dates back to the beginning of mankind and versions of it have been used by primitive people in all parts of the world.  It has been time-tested, field-tested and survival-tested.  It is my #1 GO-TO Survival Snare set.
    The Trigger Spring Snare consists of 4 components which can be readily sourced in nearly any survival situation.  These components are:
    1. The Noose (made from some kind of cordage–preferably wire)
    2. The 2 Part Trigger (carved from wood)
    3. The Leader Line (also made from some kind of cordage)
    4. The Engine (typically a bent over sapling)

    The Noose

    The noose does exactly what you think–it nooses the animal.  The most effective noose material is wire.  There are many different types of wire that will work.  The wire must be flexible.  It cannot be too thick or brittle.  When set in the shape of a noose (shown later), it must tighten easily and quickly when pulled upon.  Some examples are:
    • Twisted copper strands from the inside of an everyday lamp or small appliance power cord
    • Picture hanging wire
    • Stripped wire from car or vehicle electrical systems
    • Craft wire
    • Headphone wire
    • Wire from a spiral bound note pad
    • An uncoiled spring (such as in a ballpoint click pen)
    • Wire reinforced bras
    • Wire from inside electronics such as toys, phones, and radios
    rope wire options for building small game snare hunting

    If wire is unavailable, some kind of string or cord will have to do.  It must be strong enough to hold a 5-8 lb animal.  If it snaps under the force of a couple jerks between your fists then it probably won’t work well.

    jerk the rope to test durability for small game hunting snare

    Here are several alternative cordage ideas:
    The inner strands from 550 Parachute Cord
    • Shoe strings
    • Dental floss
    • Fishing line
    • Unwoven webbing
    • Strong stitching material such as what is used to sew together leather and outdoor goods such as purses, wallets, cell phone cases, belts, jackets, and backpacks
    rope samples for building constructing small game snare

    If no modern wire or cordage is available, there are many natural plants and tree bark fibers that can be fashioned into suitable cordage.  Several excellent cordage plants/trees are:
    • Milkweed
    • Dogbane
    • Stinging nettle
    • Many inner tree barks such as cedar and elm
    • Palm
    • Cattail
    Below is a photo of several cords made from reverse wrapping plant and tree bark fibers.  Remember, primitive cultures used this snare for hundreds of years with no modern wire or rope.  It takes more time and knowledge but is certainly possible.

    natural rope cordage grass bark strings for small game snare

    The average length of your noose cord needs to be 18-24 inches for most small game animals.  To construct your noose you need to make a small loop in one end about the diameter of a pencil.  With wire you can simple make the loop and twist the wire back on itself several times.

    With string, simply fold the end back onto itself and tie an overhand knot to secure the loop.

    Then, run the other end of the cord/wire through the loop to create your noose.  The tag end is then tied to your trigger as is detailed in the next section.

    The Trigger and Leader Line

    The trigger consists of 2 parts: the HOOK and the BASE.  As you can see in the diagram below, the LEADER LINE is tied to the top of the HOOK and the NOOSE is tied to the bottom of the HOOK.  The ENGINE (typically a bent over sapling) provides tension to the HOOK which is secured under the BASE–until an animal disengages it by pulling on the NOOSE.  The LEADER LINE from the HOOK to the ENGINE can be any type of cordage.  It needs to be strong enough to withstand the initial “spring jerk” and then the weight of the suspended (and struggling) animal.

    Several Trigger Modifications

    When it comes to this style of trigger, don’t limit yourself to one exact model.  The same result can be accomplished in many similar ways.  You may have to improvise in a survival scenario.  It is the principle that is important.  Below are several trigger modifications that I worked up to give you a few ideas.

    This trigger style is simply carved from 2 hard wood sticks.  Notice the BASE of the trigger system that is staked into the ground.  The noose in the photo above is made from the inner strands of 550 paracord.  Below is another photo of a carved trigger snare.  This noose is made from the copper wires from inside an old lamp cord which makes an ideal noose material.  Notice how I’ve used little twigs to hold my noose in place.  This can be helpful to keep your noose exactly where you want it.


    This trigger requires very little carving– simply find 2 sticks that branch how you need them and let nature provide your trigger system.  The noose in this photo is made from the fibers of a raffia palm tree.  This BASE is also staked into the ground.

    Rather than having a BASE that is staked in the ground, the HOOK of this trigger system is secured on a peg or nail that you can place in a nearby log, stump, or tree.  I’ve even created triggers that have hooked onto nearby rock ledges.  This photo also features a “baited trigger.”  I have sharpened the bottom of the hook and stuck on a piece of bait (raisin) to lure an animal through the noose.  As soon as the bait is tampered with, the HOOK disengages.  Make sure the animal must put its head through the noose to access a baited trigger.

    Fishing Modification

    This same trigger snare principle can be used with a hook and line for fishing as well.  Instead of using a noose, attach your fishing line to the bottom of the HOOK TRIGGER.  When a fish pulls your line and disengages the trigger, the ENGINE will pull and set the hook in the fish’s mouth.  Make sure your TRIGGER HOOK is just barely set so that the slightest tug from a nibbling fish engages the ENGINE.  See the diagram below:

    The Engine

    Every environment is different and unique.  There may not be a sapling to bend over along a game trail.  Or, you may be in the middle of a prairie or field where there are no trees at all.  If so, you must improvise.  There are many ways to do this.  One way is to simply cut down a green sapling or branch from another area and stake it in the ground to use as an ENGINE.  Your LEADER LINE can also be weighted and run over a branch or make-shift tripod to serve the same purpose.  In the photo below I’ve weighted the LEADER LINE with a 10 pound rock that applies tension to the TRIGGER.  I used the bark from a root as the LEADER LINE and a NOOSE made from braided cattail leaves–this is a 100% primitive snare set.

    In the set below, I used a similar principle except I erected a make-shift tripod to serve as an anchor point for the LEADER LINE.  Here, the LEADER LINE is a high visibility 550 Paracord.

    Your ENGINE (whether a sapling, branch, or weighted system) should be powerful enough to suspend a small game animal in the air.  This helps to ensure a faster and more humane kill and also keeps your catch away from other predators who would certainly be very interested in a free meal.  If in doubt, you can test your snare ENGINE by using a 6-8 pound rock or log.
    The NOOSE from this snare system can be an incredibly effective snare by itself–without a TRIGGER or ENGINE.  By securing the tag end of the NOOSE to a stake or tree and placing it across a burrow/nest entrance or a very well-traveled small game run, a trigger system may not even be necessary.  This is a very popular method for snaring rabbits.  It doesn’t get easier than this.  Be prepared, though, for a live animal once you return in many cases.  See the diagram below.

    Directing the Traffic Flow

    As I mentioned earlier, animals will typically follow the path of least resistance to conserve energy.  Use this to your advantage by arranging sticks, logs, dirt, rocks, or other objects in such a way that funnels the animal into your snare NOOSE.
    Try not to disturb the area too much if possible.  The more natural you leave it the better.  Animals survive on INSTINCT and will react if something seems out of place.  The forest is their home and they know it by heart.  Leave as little trace of your activity as possible.


    I’ll end this article with a list of Survival Snaring Guidelines that I follow and for you to consider.
    • Survival snares are for survival situations.  Primitive improvised snares are otherwise illegal.
    • The more snares you set, the greater your chances of success.
    • If moving from an area, disable all snares you’ve set.
    • Check your snare sets several times each day if possible–especially in warm weather.  Your catch can spoil or be scavenged by other predators.  And, if you have a live animal, you don’t want it to suffer longer than it has to.
    • If you kill it, eat it.  A diseased animal is the exception.
    • Remains from previously snared animals make excellent bait for other snares–especially entrails.
    • Meat is not the only survival resource that can be gained from snaring an animal.  The hide can be used.  Most animals have enough brains to brain-tan their own hide.  Bones can be used as tools, hooks, and spear points.  Intestines, sinew, and rawhide can be used for lashings and cordage.  Use as much of the animal as possible.  It has given its life for you.
    I keep a handful of ready-made wire snares in my survival kit and Bug Out Bag.  They are extremely lightweight and take up very little space.  And, wire is a multifunctional kit item that can be used for a variety of tasks.
    The key to survival is not about mastering a single survival skill, but rather about being well-rounded in a variety of skills that can help provide you with basic needs–and FOOD is certainly one of these in an extended survival scenario.  Energy conservation is very important and using snares to secure food is an intelligent use of time and resources.  I hope you’ve taken away something useful from this post.
    Remember, it’s not IF but WHEN,
    Creek Stewart is a Senior Instructor at the Willow Haven Outdoor School for Survival, Preparedness & Bushcraft.  Creek’s passion is teaching, sharing, and preserving outdoor living and survival skills. Creek is also the author of the book Build the Perfect Bug Out Bag: Your 72-Hour Disaster Survival Kit. For more information, visit Willowhaven Outdoor.