Yes, that’s a Tampon in my mouth : The Swiss Army Survival Tampon : 7 Survival Uses

Do me a favor for the next 5 minutes.  Try to forget everything you know about a TAMPON.  I know, it’s hard.  But pretend that this is the first time you have ever seen or heard of the item below and it is a new survival product on the market: the Tactical Adventure Medical Preparedness Outdoors Necessity (T.A.M.P.O.N.)

All kidding aside, a TAMPON really does have a ton of uses to a survivor.  One could even argue to include a couple in your survival kit.  Ultimately, I’ll let you be the judge.

Before I get into the details of this post, a brief history of the tampon might surprise you.

 

The tampon is actually regulated in the US by the Food & Drug Administration as a Class II Medical Device.  The word ‘tampon’ is a derivative of the French word tampion which means “a piece of cloth to stop a hole”.  My research indicates that tampons were used as early as the 19th century as battle dressings to plug bullet holes.  It wasn’t until later that they were used as a feminine product.  There are even accounts of tampons being used as wound plugs in modern warfare.   A friend of mine told me that it’s not uncommon for Army Medics to carry tampons in their med kits.  Tampons are sterile and come very well packaged in their own water proof container.  This only adds to their survival utility.

I’ve high-lighted a few survival uses below:

TAMPON Survival Use # 1: Medical Bandage

Not only are these little tactical bandages packaged in a waterproof sleeve, but they are designed to be ultra absorbent – making them the perfect first aid bandage.  They can be taped or tied over a wound as an improvised dressing.  And, as I’ve already mentioned, they can be used to plug a bullet hole until more detailed medical attention can be administered.  Accounts of this use date back to World War I.  Many items in modern society were first developed as a facet of military research – tampons being a prime example.  The internet being another.  The list goes on and on.

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TAMPON Survival Use # 2: Crude Water Filter

Another excellent tampon survival use is as a Crude Water Filter.  While it will not filter out biological, chemical or heavy metal threats, it can certainly be used to filter out sediments and floating particulates.  This would be considered a 1st Phase Filter and can drastically increase the life and efficacy of your main water filter.  You can also use a filter like this before boiling to filter out larger particulates.  In this example, I’ve pushed a tampon into the neck of an empty water bottle.  I poked a small hole in the cap and then poured in dirty water to filter through the tampon and into the container below.

The water dripped out nearly crystal clear.

 

TAMPON Survival Use # 3: Fire Tinder

Nearly everyone knows that cotton makes an excellent fire tinder.  When the dry cotton fibers of a tampon are pulled apart and hit with a spark or flame it will burst into a nice steady fire.  If you’ve done the right amount of fire prep-work you can easily split 1 tampon into 3 or 4 fire starting tinder bundles.  Add in some chap-stick or petroleum jelly and you’ve got an even better fire starting tinder.

 

TAMPON Survival Use # 4: Crude Survival Straw Filter

Yes, I have a tampon in my mouth – don’t laugh.  As a last ditch water filter, you can make an improvised Survival Straw from the plastic housing and cotton from a tampon.  As you can see in the photos below, just tear off a bit of the cotton and stuff it into the plastic housing.  I find it better to leave a little bit sticking out to make the housing pieces wedge tightly together.

Again, this filter will not PURIFY your water by removing biological, chemical or heavy metal threats but it will filter out sediments and particulates.  This would be a last ditch effort if no methods of water purification were available.

 

TAMPON Survival use # 5: Wick for Improvised Candle

In the photo above I used the string on a tampon as a wick in an improvised candle which I made from rendered animal fat and a fresh water mussel shell I found down by the creek at Willow Haven.  After the string soaked up some of the fat, this candle burned solid for 20 minutes while I took the photos and still had plenty of wick left.  Pine sap would have also worked as a fuel.

 

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unofficial-hunger-games-survival-guide

 

TAMPON Survival Use # 6: Cordage

The string attached to a tampon is a cotton twisted cord typically made up of several 4-6″ pieces of twine.  Though it’s not much, it is usable cordage.  This amount of cordage could easily be used to make a Paiute Deadfall Trap.

 

I’m sure there are also numerous other uses for small amounts of quality cordage.  For example, I also use this cordage in the next Survival Use below…

 

TAMPON Survival Use # 7: Blow Dart Fletching

The Blow Gun certainly has it’s place in survival history.  From Native Americans to tribes in New Guinea, the Blow Gun and primitive darts have put food on the table for 1000s of years.  They are silent and deadly hunting tools – especially for small game.  Oftentimes, especially here in the US, natural cotton was used as Blow Dart Fletching.  Thus, the cotton from a Tampon is a perfect candidate to make cotton fletched blow darts.  I used the string on the tampon to lash it into place on this bamboo skewer.

Watch out BIRDS & LIZARDS – you may get shot by a tampon fletched blow dart!  For a great article about how to make natural cotton fletched blow darts check out this page: http://sensiblesurvival.org/2011/05/14/make-a-cotton-fletched-blow-dart/

 

CONCLUSION

So what did you decide?  In the kit or not in the kit?  The only part of the tampon that I didn’t mention was the wrapper/packaging.  What uses can you think of for it?  Or, are there more uses that I didn’t mention….?  Below are a couple shots of the wrapper.

 

If nothing else, this post is another lesson in the importance of looking at every day products through the eyes of a survivalist.  Creativity and innovation are critical.

Remember, it’s not IF but WHEN,

Creek

 

PS –  Was talking to another friend of mine yesterday, Bill Szabo, who happens to be a medic in the National Guard.  He also confirmed that it’s common practice to include tampons in military field medic bags and confirmed that he has 2 in his medic kit for emergency use.

Gigging for Survival: “It’s all about the SMALLS.”

I have a friend who makes a living selling items at flea-markets, fairs and festivals and he always says to me, “The money is in the smalls.”  What he means by this is that he makes his living selling the $1 and $2 items – not the $100 big ticket items.  Of course it’s great to sell a big ticket item every now and then but if he depended on big ticket sales to pay the bills he’d be out of business.

The same is true with Survival Hunting.  It’s all about the SMALLS – the little critters like fish, frogs, snakes, cray-fish, crabs, rabbit, lizards, squirrel, mice, rat, rodents, bats, birds, turtle, possum and raccoon.  It’s easy to get caught up in the idea of a Big Game Hunt with some fancy fashioned hunting set but at the end of the day it just isn’t all that practical.  Your survival will depend on your ability to hunt, kill and eat the SMALLS.

When hunting small game, SIMPLE seems to be most effective in my experience.  One of the most effective primitive hunting tools I’ve ever used has been the GIG – especially for fish and frogs.  Don’t underestimate the ability of a simple GIG to put food on the table.  You’ve probably seen Commercial Gigs (Tridents) like the one shown below.  They are sold in the fishing section of almost any outdoor retailer.

These typically come with a bolt or screw which you use to mount it to the end of a 6-10 foot pole.  They are only a few bucks.  If you don’t have one, get one.  They only weigh a few ounces and it’s a great piece of kit to have for a rainy day if you ever need it.  In this post, however, I will present you with 2 primitive survival gigs made from natural materials with limited resources.  There are literally dozens of ways to make a primitive gig but these 2 will at least get you thinking…

Primitive Gig # 1: The Split Gig

The name is pretty self explanatory.  The Split Gig is simply a long pole with the end split into sections which are then sharpened.  This pole can be anything from urban trash such as piece of PVC pipe to natural bamboo.  If it’s long (6′ +), fairly straight and you can split the end then it will probably work.  In my example below I used an 8 foot maple sapling.

 

I split the end down in 4 sections about 10 inches or so.  I then wedged a small rock in the middle and drove it in with a smaller stick.  This helped to spread the ‘tines’ into the shape you see.  You could also use a small stick wedged in each split.  I then sharpened each ‘tine’ to a point.

I then wrapped the base of the split with a natural fiber twine to prevent it from splitting further down the shaft.  For short-term use this isn’t necessary.  Bamboo is perfect for this kind of gig and has been used by many primitive cultures for gigging and spearing small game since the beginning of mankind.  I recently planted a small Bamboo grove at Willow Haven so that we can harvest Bamboo for training during our courses and a primitive Bamboo Gig will definitely be on the training menu.

 

Primitive Gig # 2: Hollow Shaft Gig

Many different versions of this gig can be made, but the basic principle is the same.  It all starts with a long pole or shaft that is either hollow or that can be hollowed out at the gig-end.  In this example I have actually used a weed – to demonstrate the versatility of gig materials.  For the pole I used Giant Ragweed – often called Horseweed – which grows as a weed in most of North America.  I featured this invasive weed in a different post HERE if you want to learn more about it. In it’s maturity, Giant Ragweed is very stiff and develops a woody-like stem.  The center is pithy and can be hollowed out with little effort.

Next, the idea is to jam in and wedge or glue a variety of thin sharp objects that form a gigging tip.  Again – this can be almost anything from urban trash like coat hanger wire or nails to natural materials such as wood splinters or thorns.  I decided to keep things au naturale and use only natural found materials.  I used Locust Thorns for the gig tines and pine sap/charcoal glue to hold them in place.  If you missed my post about how to make Pine Pitch Glue – you can see that HERE.   Below is a photo stream of the process:

The thorn tines were rock solid once the pitch glue dried and I wrapped the end with strips of Mulberry bark.  If you don’t already know, the bark from limbs of a mulberry tree peel off in strips and makes excellent ‘quickie-cordage’.

All in all, I was really happy with the result.  Not too bad for a weed, some thorns and a little bit of nature made glue.

This Gig definitely took more time and resources than a Split Tip Gig but it’s a good option none-the-less.

I pushed on a few sections of corn cob to protect the tines (and me) while in transit.

Conclusion

If you’ve never used a gig, I would suggest trying it at least once simply for the experience.  Check with your local DNR office about Frog Gigging rules/regulations/season for your state.  Most states don’t allow the use of a primitive gig but using a commercial gig is good practice just in case you ever have to draw from your survival knowledge in a desperate situation.  I used a Commercial Gig for the ones below earlier this year but practiced my aim on some cattails while I was out.

 

Besides survival practice, the bonus is delicious frog legs.  If you’ve never had them you are definitely missing out on one of the most overlooked delicacies in the world.

Below is a link to some frog leg recipes just for kicks:

http://www.cdkitchen.com/recipes/cat/650/

As always, tuck it away – because it’s not IF but WHEN,

Creek

Build the Ultimate Survival Shotgun: Modify Your Pump Shotgun Survival Style

Today, www.artofmanliness.com published an article written by Creek Stewart on their site about How to Build the Ultimate Survival Shotgun.  You have to check it out at: http://artofmanliness.com/2011/07/11/how-to-make-a-survival-shotgun/

Below are also 2 videos with Creek reviewing THE ULTIMATE SURVIVAL SHOTGUN.

 

Below is a parts list w/ prices for the major components.  Let me know if you have questions about any of the other mods:

Receiver Side Saddle: Holds Six Shells
Price: $29.97
Link to order: http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/SHT003-1.html
 
Stock Side Saddle
Price: $19.97
Link to order: http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/SHT025-1.html
 
Tri-Rail Barrel Mount
Price: $19.97
Link to order: http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/SHT071-1.html
 
Pistol Grip Butt Stock
Price: $39.97
http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/SHT035-1.html
 
Picatinny Rail Forend
Price: $22.32
Link to order: http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/60536-1.html
 
Vertical Foregrip
Price: $19.97
Link to order: http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/ARR073-1.html
 
Ka-Bar Rail Knife
Price: $39.97
Link to order: http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/DBA895-1.html
 
Braided Paracord Shotgun Sling
Price: $47.82
Link to order: http://willowhavenoutdoor.com/products-page/survival-necessities/paracord-braided-adjustable-gun-sling/
 
Gerber Vise Multi-Tool
Price: $16.92
Link to order: http://willowhavenoutdoor.com/products-page/bushcraft-survival-multi-tools/edc-gerber-vise/
 
12 Gauge Specialty Flare Rounds
Price: $9.50 for 3 rounds
Link to order: http://www.americanspecialtyammo.com/12_Gauge.html
 
Ultiamte Arms Tactical Light/Compass Combo
Price: $21.95
Link to order: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=390330710789
 
Engraved Receiver Plate
Price: $5.00
Where: Local Trophy Shop
 

 

About The Art of Manliness Blog (direct from their about section):

The Art of Manliness is authored by husband and wife team, Brett and Kate McKay. It features articles on helping men be better husbands, better fathers, and better men. In our search to uncover the lost art of manliness, we’ll look to the past to find examples of manliness in action. We’ll analyze the lives of great men who knew what it meant to “man up” and hopefully learn from them. And we’ll talk about the skills, manners, and principles that every man should know. Since beginning in January 2008, The Art of Manliness has already gained 75,000+ subscribers and continues to grow each week.

 

The Ruger 10/22 Rifle: A Survival Cameleon

Have you ever asked yourself the question – “If I only had 1 _ _ _ _ _ _ (fill in the blank) – what would it be?”    It’s a good exercise.  Doing this helps you to apply a hierarchy to your gear.  Should you ever need to pick up and go quickly, already knowing what gear is on the top of your list can help facilitate the packing process and eliminate wasteful decision making time.

In this case, “If I only had 1 survival rifle, what would it be?”  It’s true, the answer to this question does vary on the situation.  However, in general, my # 1 Survival Rifle pick is the Ruger 10/22.  The Ruger 10/22 has a long rich history and is a very popular .22 rifle.  It is incredibly versatile and breaks down with only 1 set screw.  This 1 screw is the only piece that holds the barrel & trigger assembly to the stock.  Because of this very simple design (and it’s popularity), there are literally 100’s of aftermarket accessories available for the 10/22.  Ultimately, below are my top 5 reasons why the 10/22 is my # 1 Survival Rifle Pick:

  • Impressive assortment of aftermarket accessories & replacement parts readily available
  • 1 Set Screw Breakdown – Making it very ‘packable’
  • Time & Field Tested
  • Uses .22 caliber ammunition: cheap, easy to store & very effective on 99% of wild game
  • Performance: Very reliable & very accurate

The Ruger 10/22 is flat out just a fun gun to own – mainly because of  the huge assortment of aftermarket accessories that you can buy for it.  Just swapping out a few accessories on your Ruger 10/22 can make it feel like a Brand New gun.  You can outfit a Ruger 10/22 to meet the demands of different environments as well as your own personal style.

For this reason, I call the 10/22 a SURVIVAL CAMELEON. 

The Ruger 10-22: A Survival Cameleon

The Ruger 10-22: A Survival Cameleon

Below are 3 ‘sets’ I occasionally use with my Ruger 10/22.

SET # 1: The Classic BushCraft Hunter (Creek’s Preferred Set)

Ruger 10-22: Classic Bushcraft Hunter

Ruger 10-22: Classic Bushcraft Hunter

This is pretty much what an ‘off-the-shelf’ Ruger 10/22 looks like with a wooden stock.  No frills – just a classic rifle look.  I’ve added a sling for extended carry but other than that it’s pretty basic.  In my opinion there is no need for a scope on the 10/22.  With practice I find the iron sights are so accurate I’ve never bothered to spend the $$$.  Besides I like the classic look.

SET # 2: The Urban Commando

Ruger 10-22: The Urban Commando

Ruger 10-22: The Urban Commando

See what I mean by ‘the feeling that you have a NEW GUN’.  It doesn’t even look the same.  This black fiberglass urban style stock gives the Ruger 10-22 a completely different look and feel.  These style stocks are durable and pretty much resistant to abuse of any kind whereas the original wood stocks can scratch and scuff pretty easy.  This change-out takes about 30 seconds.  These fiberglass stocks also do very well in wet conditions.  There are literally 100’s of different stocks available for the 10/22.  They range in price from under $100 to over $500.

Set # 3: Compact & Tactical

 

Ruger 10-22: Compact=

Ruger 10-22: Compact & Tactical

 

As you can see, this same 10/22 is now outfitted with a Tactical Folding Stock which makes it extremely compact and packable for tight situations.  Besides different stock options, there are 100’s of other accessories you can buy to outfit your 10/22.  You can see a few of these in the photo above.  I’ve added a red dot scope and also some high cap magazines.  I’ve even seen 50 round drum magazines designed for the 10/22.  If you can imagine it, someone is probably selling it for the 10/22.

Ruger 10-22: Folding Stock Extended

Ruger 10-22: Folding Stock Extended

It’s hard to imagine that this gun is the same one as the one in the first photo.  From a shooting performance perspective, they are all the same.  However, it can be really fun to create these different styles based on your mood or environment.

Ruger 10-22: 3 Stock Options

Ruger 10-22: 3 Stock Options

 

Because I consider my 10/22 a true survival gun, I keep spare parts on hand.  In the 10+ years (and 1000s of rounds later) I’ve owned my 10/22 I’ve never had to replace a working part but I keep them on hand just in case there comes a day when parts and pieces aren’t so readily available.  This is good practice for any of your guns you think might be with you if times get tough.

What are your thoughts on the Ruger 10/22?  Is it your favorite?  If not, why?  Or…what is?

Remember, it’s not IF but WHEN,

Creek

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Additional Resources:

There are many different web-sites that sell 10/22 accessories.  I have listed a couple below:

http://www.rimfiresports.com

http://www.cabelas.com

http://www.brownells.com

http://www.midwayusa.com

9 Military Poncho Survival Shelter Confirguations: How To Set Up A Military Poncho Shelter

An essential item for ANY outdoor outing and certainly in every Survival Kit and Bug Out Bag is a good quality Poncho.  If you don’t have one and need one go to the NOT IF BUT WHEN STORE HERE. There is nothing more miserable (and dangerous) than getting soaked by rain. There are 100’s of different ponchos to choose from. I prefer a Military Style Poncho with grommeted corners and snap closure sides. These are typically constructed of a nice quality rip-stop nylon material that not only makes them water proof but very durable.

I like for items in my pack to be multi-use items – meaning they can be used for more than 1 purpose. My Poncho is no exception.  Besides protecting me from rain, I can also use my Poncho as a Ground Tarp to act as a moisture barrier.  I can also use it as a tarp to protect my gear or to keep a wood pile dry.  It can also be used as a make-shift shelter, which is the subject of this post.  I’ve slept in a make-shift poncho shelter many times and if set up properly it will keep you as dry and comfortable as any tent on the market.

Below I have detailed 9 Different Military Poncho Set-Ups that can be used for multiple scenarios.  I’ve listed when each one works best and when it doesn’t.  I’ve listed the supplies needed for each one and also the knots I use to set them up.  Hopefully you find this useful.  Let me know if you have any questions.

Military Poncho Shelter # 1:  Basic Lean-To (HORIZONTAL)

  • Supplies Needed: Paracord, 3 Stakes
  • Uses: Sleeping, Rain-Shed, Sun-Shed
  • Ideal Environment: No to Moderate Wind, No to Moderate Rain
  • Fire Friendly: YES
  • Knots Used: Double Half Hitch, Siberian Hitch, Quick Release Taught Line Hitch

Military Poncho Shelter # 2:  Basic Lean-To (VERTICAL)

  • Supplies Needed: Paracord, 2 Stakes
  • Uses: Sleeping, Rain-Shed, Sun-Shed
  • Ideal Environment:  Low Wind, No Rain
  • Fire Friendly: YES
  • Knots Used: Double Half Hitch, Siberian Hitch, Quick Release Taught Line Hitch

Military Poncho Shelter # 3: Ridge Line Lean-To

  • Supplies Needed: Paracord, 5 Stakes
  • Uses: Sleeping, Rain-Shed, Sun-Shed
  • Ideal Environment: No to Heavy Wind, No to Heavy Rain
  • Fire Friendly: YES
  • Knots Used: Double Half Hitch, Siberian Hitch, Quick Release Taught Line Hitch

Military Poncho Shelter # 4:  Flat Roof Lean-To

  • Supplies Needed: Paracord, 3 Stakes, Center Pole (optional)
  • Uses: Sleeping, Sun-Shed
  • Ideal Environment: No to Moderate Wind, No Rain
  • Fire Friendly: YES
  • Knots Used: Double Half Hitch, Siberian Hitch, Quick Release Taught Line Hitch

Military Poncho Shelter # 5:  Ghost Man

  • Supplies Needed: Paracord, 4 Stakes, Center Pole
  • Uses: Rain-Shed, Sun-Shed, Hunting Blind
  • Ideal Environment: No to Moderate Wind, No to Moderate Rain
  • Fire Friendly: YES (small)
  • Knots Used: Double Half Hitch, Siberian Hitch, Quick Release Taught Line Hitch

Military Poncho Shelter # 6:  Hood Hoist

  • Supplies Needed: Paracord, 4 Stakes,  2 Poles (Optional)
  • Uses: Rain-Shed, Sun-Shed, Hunting Blind, Sleeping (When set-up low and long)
  • Ideal Environment: No to Moderate Wind, No to Moderate Rain, High Wind & High Rain (Low & Long)
  • Fire Friendly: YES (small – when set-up high), NO when set up low
  • Knots Used: Double Half Hitch, Siberian Hitch, Quick Release Taught Line Hitch

Military Poncho Shelter # 7:  Poncho Tent

  • Supplies Needed: Paracord, 4 Stakes
  • Uses: Rain-Shed, Sun-Shed, Sleeping
  • Ideal Environment: No to High Wind, No to High Rain, Works well in COLD temps
  • Fire Friendly: YES (small out front)
  • Knots Used: Double Half Hitch, Siberian Hitch, Quick Release Taught Line Hitch

Military Poncho Shelter # 8 & 9: Connecting 2 Ponchos By Snapping Them Together – using 1 as a ground tarp

  • Supplies Needed: Paracord, Stakes
  • Uses: Rain-Shed, Sun-Shed,Sleeping
  • Ideal Environment: No to High Wind, No to High Rain
  • Fire Friendly: YES
  • Knots Used: Double Half Hitch, Siberian Hitch, Quick Release Taught Line Hitch

Below is a Basic Lean-To Set-Up that I use quite often in fair weather.  I use a tarp to keep ground moisture at bay and a wool blanket for warmth.  The Poncho Shelter acts as an excellent heat shield to deflect heat right on the sleeping area from a fire out front .

 

POST UPDATE:  Below is a 10th Poncho Shelter Option I call the DIAGONAL.  It involved tying off one corner to a tree and staking the opposite corner to the ground.  The 2 remaining corners can either be staked or guy-lined out for added room.  This is a great shelter set as well.

If you are using any of these shelters and are expecting rain you will want to tie a knot with paracord around the hood to prevent water from leaking inside.

If you don’t have a good grommeted poncho – you can pick one up for under $25 at the NOT IF BUT WHEN STORE.

As always I would love to get your thoughts on these. Let me know if there are any questions. Or if you have any additional ideas – post them in a comment below!

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How To Tie A Shemagh

The Shemagh (pronounced “Schmog”)(also called a Keffiyeh and Ghutrah) originated in the Middle East. They are a scarf-style wrap commonly found in arid regions to provide protection from direct sun exposure, as well to protect the mouth and eyes from blown dust and sand. It’s similar to a bandanna except much larger – approximately 42″ x 42″. It has been adopted by military forces all over the world as a standard issue garment because of its sheer functionality.

For an outdoors-man, survivalist or bushcrafter, the Shemagh can be a multi-use tool with literally 100’s of uses. I have an great post in the pipeline about the all of the possible uses. However, this post is simply a quick tutorial in how to tie a Shemagh as a face mask / head wrap. This is a very functional use in all kinds of environments. As you can see, with the right pattern, the Shemagh can work as some effective camo as well. Using it as shown below is great for dusty/sandy environments. I went on a trip to the Sand Dunes in Michigan not too long ago and my Shemagh was invaluable! I’ve also used it countless times this winter for face and head protection. You’ve probably seen it in some of my videos.

I’m sure there are other ways to tie this as a face mask, but below is the way I do it. There is also a video at the bottom.

This green/black pattern makes for awesome CAMO. I also own a tan/white color scheme that makes for perfect winter CAMO as well.

If you don’t have a Shemagh and want one – order one from us here – they are $11.95.

If you like the Shemagh, definitely subscribe to the blog below because you don’t want to miss my upcoming post about the MANY SURVIVAL USES FOR THE SHEMAGH.

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Here is an interesting Military History about the Shemagh I found on Wikipedia:

For decades, keffiyeh have been issued to British soldiers who now, almost exclusively, refer to them as shemaghs. Their use by some units and formations of the military and police forces of the former British Empire and subsequent Commonwealth dates back to before the Second World War. Because of its utility it was adopted by the Palestine Police Force, the Transjordan Frontier Force, the Sudan Defence Force, the Arab Legion, the Libyan Arab Force, the Long Range Desert Group, the Special Air Service and Popski’s Private Army, amongst others, who wore them while operating in North Africa. After the war, their use by the Army continued with the shemagh being worn in both desert and temperate environments in theatres such as Dhofar. Australian Army forces have also used the shemagh since the Vietnam War, and extensively during Iraq and Afghanistan, particularly by Australian Special Forces units. Since the beginning of the War on Terror, these keffiyeh, usually cotton and in military olive drab or khaki with black stitching, have been adopted by US troops as well. Their practicality in an arid environment, as in Iraq, explains their enduring popularity with soldiers. Soldiers often wear the keffiyeh folded in half into a triangle and wrapped around the face, with the halfway point being placed over the mouth and nose, sometimes coupled with goggles, to keep sand out of the face. This is also commonly done by armoured, mechanised and other vehicle-borne troops who use it as a scarf in temperate climates to ward off wind chill caused by being in moving vehicles. British soldiers deploying to Iraq or Afghanistan are now issued with a tan-colored shemagh. Irish Army Rangers use a green shemagh to conceal their identity whilst in the “green” role.

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

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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.

Cheers-

Creek

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The Take Down Survival Bow & Arrow: 6 Reasons You Should Consider Owning One

Survival Bow: A Versatile Tool

Survival Bow: A Versatile Tool

I am a big fan of the Bow & Arrow for many reasons. I personally think that anyone who has an interest in primitive survival skills or modern urban survival should seriously consider purchasing a good Bow & Arrow and become proficient in using it. There are 100s of bows to choose from. My Bow of choice is an October Mountain Blue Ridge Hunter Take Down Recurve Bow. Below are 6 Reasons why I think you should consider owning a Survival Take Down Bow.

1. PORTABILITY
“Take Down” means that the bow comes apart in 3 pieces: the middle grip section & the 2 limbs. It is super simple to ‘take down’ – just the twist of a couple lug screws and voila. The fact that it comes apart makes it very portable. You can stash the bow in your pack or Bug Out Bag. It’s perfect for a Bug Out Vehicle or BOL (Bug Out Location) cache. And, it weighs very little. My bow weighs only a couple of pounds – if that.

Creek's Survival Take Down Recurve Bow

Creek’s Survival Take Down Recurve Bow

Takedown Recurve Bow & Arrows in the WillowHavenOutdoor Utforska Bushcraft Pack

Takedown Recurve Bow & Arrows in the WillowHavenOutdoor Utforska Bushcraft Pack

2. AFFORDABLE
A good Take Down Bow should only cost you a couple 100 bucks and if you take care of it, you can expect it to last your lifetime. Not only is the bow itself affordable, but the ammunition (arrows) are cost effective too. Once you hone your shooting skills, you should be able to retrieve your arrows after shooting….and reuse them over and over again. With a little practice, you can easily make your own arrows using wooden dowels or even natural found wood and plant shafts.

See our Take-Down Bug Out Survival Bow below!

3. VERSATILITY
Modern arrows have come a long way. Most new carbon fiber arrows (ultra light weight) have a tip that accepts different screw in arrow tips. I have an extensive selection of tips to choose from: small game stunner tips, broad head razor large game tips, standard practice tips, hook tip and line for bow fishing, etc… I’ve killed both squirrel and deer using my Take Down Bow with different arrow tips. A good selection of arrow tips can be easily kept in a pack or vehicle. I practice flint knapping regularly so that if I was ever in a situation when I need to make my own arrow points I would know how.

Some modern arrow points as compared to flint arrow-heads

Some modern arrow points as compared to flint arrow-heads

Variety of Arrow Tips: Offers hunting versatility

Variety of Arrow Tips: Offers hunting versatility

4. LAWS, RED TAPE & PAPERWORK
Legal limitations and laws are much more lax on the Bow & Arrow than they are with guns and bullets. You don’t have to mess with paperwork and permits even though in the right hands the Bow & Arrow is equally as deadly. The less you have to deal with this stuff the better – especially if things get messy.

Take Down Recurve Bow: A Great Survival Bow

Take Down Recurve Bow: A Great Survival Bow

5. SILENT
The bow and arrow is very quiet weapon. You never know when you might need the convenience of a weapon that is silent & deadly.

6. MULTI-USE
Some pieces of a Take Down Recurve Bow Kit can be Multi-Use items – this is always a plus. I like for everything I pack to have at least 2-3 other uses. The first and most obvious is the Bow String. Bow strings range in length from 4 feet to 6 feet and are incredible strong. You could use a bow string in a variety of ways. Below is just a brief list:

– Bow Drill for Fire
– Snares/Traps
– Cordage for Shelter Building
– Trot Line Fishing

If you are packing a bow then you are probably packing a few arrows as well. Arrows can be used as spears and gigs for small game & fish. They can also be lashed to a longer shaft and used as a larger spear for big game such as wild pig. This larger spear can be used in self defense as well. Imagine a spear with 3 Arrows lashed to the end and each of the arrows had a razor broadhead on the tip – you can’t even buy a spear that effective. I’m sure there are some more multi-use features but these are the few I could easily think of. I would love to hear any ideas you have on the subject of Multi-Use with a Bow and Arrow Kit.

Looking for a great compact take-down survival down and arrow set that you can afford!  Check out our Take-Down Bug Out Bow.  It breaks down to only 16″ and also includes 4 break-down arrows!

bug-out-take-down-bow

My Final Thoughts:

Positives:
– Very Portable for such an effective long range weapon
– Silent
– Affordable
– Multi-Use
– Can reuse arrows
– Can make arrows in the bush
– Lax laws

Negatives:
– Requires practive and skill to be effective
– Arrows can be a little cumbersome to pack

A few good movies that feature a Bow & Arrow in a Survival Situation are:
– Book of Eli
– Red Dawn
– Rambo – pretty much all of them

What I enjoy most about a Bow & Arrow is that it requires skill to use. It is a weapon that carries a certain amount of respect. 99% of being able to effectively use the Bow & Arrow is the skill itself – not the equipment. The skill will always be with you. Even if your bow is damaged or broken in a survival situation or stolen in a bug out situation, you can make a bow as long as you have a nice strong piece of cordage. In the photo below I made this bow from a hickory sapling using only my knife. I also made the arrow. Making a bow and arrow in the bush is definitely an option. However, it will do you know good if you don’t know how to shoot it. Preparation is the key. Practice now for the situation later.

Creek with Home Made Hickory Bow

Creek with Home Made Hickory Bow

Hopefully this was useful content if you are thinking about getting a Survival Take Down Bow. If you have any questions on the matter – just let me know. Would love to hear your thoughts…

Remember, it’s not IF but WHEN,

creek-stewart-survivalist

Creek's new survival fiction novel, RUGOSA, now available on Amazon.com!