Category Archives: Training

All 1st Generation iPod Touch Owners Need This

If you want to get the update from iOS 2.x to 3.1.3 then follow this link. It will cost you 4.95 from the App Store™

If you have a minute more, here’s why. I knew from looking at “Mac Tracker” that the highest possible iOS for the 1st Generation iPod is 3.1.3 but could not find any way to get it. I looked high and low; on forums, websites and youtube. Then! Quite by accident I stumbled onto a link that led me to Apple’s support site and the link above. On that page is a link that will take you directly to the App Store™ and the ability to download the 3.1.3 software for 4.95.

If you don’t know why you should do this, it’s quite simple. There are tons more apps available with the new software and will breathe new life into your 1st Generation iPod.

Leave us a comment if you have a minute or at least email this to all your friends. :-)

Your Personal Survival

If “things” go south for any reason you will be faced with the following challenge: You must reinforce or replace “everything” that you had previously relied on others, to provide. Another way of putting it is, creating your own personal economy.

In time those personal economies will evolve into one large economy and the cycle begins all over again. The past reveals the future. What causes us to repeat history is that our experience tells us an incomplete story.

Secrets… shhhh

Secrets or “steps” or “keys” are often things that someone else has had the time to throughly investigate. There are only two kinds of secrets; those which are open but must be uncovered and real secrets which generally lie locked up in mens hearts. We all know a few of each type.

The real insight is this. You gain steps and keys over the span of your life and even if you can stuff your brain full of information it won’t help you if you don’t practice it. TLP

Nothing motivates like food

Everyone I know loves to eat. Not only that, they have very specific ideas about what they want to eat. This drama can be expertly demonstrated at meal times in various kitchens and restaurants around the world. Let the service fall a little behind schedule and the hungry patrons can become unhappy.

Now imagine it’s meal time, the stores have been cleaned out and you are stranded. Not being able to return home from an out of town service call and the highways are jammed due to a yet unnamed disaster. At this point it’s not what’s in your wallet but what’s in your bag. You know, that “get out of dodge bag”, “get home bag”, or whatever you call it.

You go down the list of options: Do I try to make it home, pull off and camp for the night, call for help, what’s the best option. Oh and by the way I’m HUNGRY. If your bag has a supply of readily edible stuff you can make it for a little while. If you have nothing, you only have two options; find someone who will share or try and forage on your own. Depending on your local foraging may or may not be an option.

There are a number of things you need to do to survive in a situation like this but we’re just dealing with the hunger issue. We are not used to going hungry and if we are busy with tasks like building a shelter we “need” calories to keep us going.

We also need to build fire and gather safe water to drink but the loss of one thing will tend to overwhelm us and that’s a lack of food. Going without food is both physically and psychologically debilitating. While it’s important to be able to make fire, shelter and collect water the one thing that can help us keep a positive mental attitude is to know we have made provision for food.

What kind of food you decide to put in your bag is up to you but remember that it must be easy to preserve, high in calories and in sufficient quantity for you and your group. When it comes to food prep for trail and home I would refer you to a couple of people that have been a great help in that area. The Survival Mom and Common Sense Survival’s Leon Patenburg.

It’s all in the Plan, or is it?

As a certain early eighties adventure series was fond to say “I love it when a plan comes together” After spending the better part of thirty years making plans I can attest to the fact the plan rarely comes together at least not without a lot of changes along the way.

When we think about being prepared for what ever catastrophe comes along there is one aspect of the plan that is crucial. What exactly am I planning for. A natural disaster is easier to plan for because we’ve seen what those things can do. Other types of disasters are harder to figure out. Terrorism, war or social upheaval is at best unpredictable. One factor that is often overlooked is that when the systems that we depend on fail, all of us are in uncharted waters.

The majority of people will be experiencing and reacting to situations that they have never seen in their life and it will be a bit surprising for everyone. The plan that wins will be the one that comes nearest to meeting the contingencies that come.

When it all goes down. It will be the the gear between the ears that makes the difference.

Cut the electric bill

Preparedness tip: Fix you hair without the use of a hair dryer. Leave the hair dryer in the drawer and save electricity. The more modern conveniences you can do without, the easier it will be when you “have” to do without them. Bandanna anyone?

Waiting for the Cavalry

Many people are reluctant to buy in to the whole idea of preparedness because we have learned to rely on outside means of support. Just like in the movies; the Cavalry will arrive at the last minute to save the day. This is most un-self-reliant culture that has ever existed. We depend on oil, electricity, all food production, public utilities, all forms of media and mass communication to name the obvious. The only thing that gets our attention is when one of these systems fails.

We didn’t get here over night. Slowly, technology made it easier for us to parcel out services to individuals and companies that in turn made our lives easier but at the same time more dependent. Therein lies the problem; should this fragile system falter we are not prepared to implement the skills of the past to insure our well being and  survival. I am not exactly knocking the comforts of our service based society; I enjoy those things as much as anyone. Sometimes, though, tragedy strikes and we suffer, very often needlessly.

I’ve read and watched my share of survival stories and for the most part the participants in these stories had one main problem, they were not prepared. Very often they lacked things like blankets, a way to make a fire but the most crucial thing was a lack of knowledge of how to survive. “My people perish for a lack of knowledge” echos down the corridors of time. Often very intelligent people have perished, not for lack of skill or intellect but simply for a lack of knowledge.

The knowledge is readily available, in books and all over the internet. The key to this knowledge is desire, you must first consider it an important thing to invest in. I’m not going to rely on the cavalry to save the day.

The Pathfinder School teaches, Improvise, adapt and overcome. Sounds pretty good doesn’t it, even profound. Here’s the key; you must train and get into that mode of thinking at a moments notice.

There are thousands of scenarios for surviving; everything from civil unrest to being stranded in some remote location. Being prepared is being able to open your bag or trunk or whatever and then to walk into a situationready to put your survival skills into action. Survival isn’t something you want to learn on the job.

You call that a knife?

If there was one tool that would symbolize the whole subject of survival it would be the knife. Even before John Rambo wielded his large Bowie style knife in “First Blood ” The knife has been the symbol of pioneers everywhere. Suffice it to say, you need a knife, probably more than one but at least, one good knife. To quote “Gibbs” rules on NCIS; Rule No. 9 “never go anywhere without a knife” A good pocket folder should be in every person’s “everday carry” kit.

The knife is a tool and the rule for tools is that it must fit the task. The first task of knife selection is to determine what you will be using it for; opening a blister pack from Wal-Mart, cutting wood for fire or butchering an animal to eat. Once you know how you will use the knife then the issues of Brand, quality, type and size can be assessed. Although any knife can be pressed into service when necessary it makes life much easier if you have the right tool for the job.

The right equipment for the job generally applies to ALL gear.

You will need to assess your own needs based on type of terrain, weather and other factors however I would recommend at least three knives if you will be out in the open for any length of time. A minimum of a pocket knife or “folder”, a larger fixed blade for cutting wood or hacking through something and a smaller fixed blade for more precision tasks.

A few brands worthy of your consideration: Kershaw, SOG, Mora, Columbia River Knife & Tool, Ka-Bar, Spyderco, Gerber, and Cold Steel to name just a few. There are many other great brands for your consideration. If you can test these knives in person so much the better, since you will get a good feel for the knife’s size and weight. While shopping don’t forget a good sharpening stone and sheath for carrying. You may be surprised by the cost of a good knife; although some have an economy price tag it is not uncommon to find these knives running in the one to two hundred dollar range. Considering a knife could save your life the high price may not be that out of line. (Note: some times knives are discontinued or are bought up by other companies and re branded so shop around)

Here’s a cutting tip: Don’t forget a good pair of scissors. I carry these on my belt wherever I go. Bonus tip: Always carry fingernail clippers; getting rid of that annoying hangnail can really ease your stress level. There is not really a good substitute for this tool.

When doing gear research; look for reviews and demonstrations on blogs, and youtube. I have learned how to avoid many pitfalls by simply listening to the experience of others.

If you want a little knife entertainment, click on the link below. I am sure many will remember this scene from Crocodile Dundee.

You call that a knife

Top Priority – Staying Alive

Besides protection from Imminent physical danger the most important necessities are water, food and shelter; in that order. Learning how to find and prepare these things is job one. Water can be found probably easiest of all; for now anyway. Food is essential for energy and staying focused. Calories are needed to maintain energy. Two meals a day will be a luxury. Learn to consume less but more of what will sustain you and is essential for health. If you have medical issues, this fact becomes even more crucial.

Our current dependence on processed and distributed food is based on farms, plants and distribution systems. All of these run on fuel and to a larger extent electricity. Those of us who have experienced prolonged outages of electricity understand that most everything stops. The pumps that pump gasoline run on electricity.

Something to think about; how much of the plant and animal life is there to sustain those who seek it. The point of all of this is that we are relying on a very fragile system; as do all the industrialized countries of the world.

A tin won’t be enough

While the Altoids™ tin survival kit might be useful and better than nothing, you probably need a bag. Most people don’t have well honed survival skills and will need a bigger kit if they plan to last long in the out of doors. To determine the bags contents; do your own research and then imagine how you will stay alive, find food, water and stay dry. The only way you will survive is if you invest yourself in the process. The resources are all over the internet. Gear is the easiest thing to look at but knowledge and practice are essential to insure success.

UPDATE: While we’re at it; don’t limit yourself to the Altoids™ tin size. There are lots of other sizes that can be found at craft stores etc. Try to keep it pocket size. With a slightly larger size you could round out your kit a bit more and have room for that all important tool or supply. If this whole topic is foreign to you; simply “google” Altoids survival and you will quickly catch up.


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