Stacy Lyn Harris’ new book HARVEST

My mouth has been watering for Stacy’s new book ever since she told me she was writing it a few months ago.  HARVEST is finally out and I think it’s her best title yet.  With a freezer packed with wild meats from this year’s hunting season, HARVEST couldn’t have been released at a better time of year.

Harvest has heart. The very nature of the book is coordinated around food that has families working together in order to bring them together. For Stacy Lyn, food is much more than sustenance, it is the medium through which familial ties are strengthened. The time and effort Stacy Lyn has put into cultivating and crafting recipes that will draw you back to the fond memories regarding your own family’s table is evident throughout. The masterfully shot photographs of the dishes alone will have your senses in a delicious uproar!

Harvest includes Stacy Lyn’s cherished family recipes, free-range meat dishes derived from her husband’s hunting obsession, and lighter takes on decidedly southern classics—all prepared simply, in the freshest way possible. The book covers food from the garden, pasture, woods, and water in four sections:

  • “The Garden” features Fried Green Tomatoes, Jalapeño Poppers, Corn Chowder, Fried Squash with Tomatoes and Pesto, and other recipes to make you wish it was summer all year long.

  • “Beyond the Garden” delves into beekeeping and raising chickens for an amazing Honey Butter to pour over Cinnamon Pear Buns and your favorite Egg Salad Sandwiches with Refrigerator Pickles.

  • “From the Pasture” focuses on free-range, pasture-fed game recipes like Braised Short Ribs, Black-Eyed Pea Gumbo, and Juicy Pork Chops, plus a how-to on sausage-making.

  • “Seafood and Fish” includes Stacy Lyn’s favorite entertaining recipes, Best Ever Clam Bake and Perfect Fish Tacos.

  • For city dwellers or anyone who feels Stacy Lyn’s way of life is out of reach, 15 “how to” articles, peppered throughout the book, offer steps for cooking and eating sustainably in any setting—including container gardening, saving seeds, preserving, foraging, composting and more.

For more information about Stacy Lyn, subscribe to her websites, stacylynharris.com and gameandgarden.com and follow her on your favorite social networks @stacylynharris on Facebook and Instagram.

Find HARVEST on Amazon here:  https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0983879931/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=wwwwillowhave-20&camp=1789&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=0983879931&linkId=cec183912fdf97032f811fe6568e8a23

One knot every survivalist should know – The Trucker Hitch

TRUCKER HITCH:  Step-by-Step Tutorial + Video!

The Trucker Hitch is an impressive knot that is comprised of two very basic knots.  The name comes from its use in the transportation industry when tying and securing heavy loads.  It can be used to tie down a load using rope with crushing force.  It is the ratcheting strap of the knot world.  I use the Trucker Hitch to secure my kayak to the roof rack on my truck.  In survival, I primarily use it when setting a rope shelter ridgeline or when sleeping in a hammock.  However, it is extremely useful, whenever the need may arise, to stretch a rope very tightly between or across two anchor points.  While the Taut Line Hitch is also a tensioning knot, the Trucker Hitch allows the user to tighten a rope with considerably more force (if that is necessary or desired).

To tie it, start with forming an overhand loop on the standing part of the rope.

 

Then, pull a bight from the working end up through the loop.  This creates a slippery overhand loop.

 

Next, run the working end around an anchor point, such as a tree.  Note that pulling the working end too hard during this step will result in undoing the slippery overhand loop, so care must be taken here.  This is why it’s called “slippery”.  The working end should then be run through the slippery loop, pulled tight, and then secured with two Half Hitches.

Pinching the line on each side of the slippery overhand loop will allow for easier tying of the Half Hitches.

In a frictionless world, the design of the Trucker hitch allows for a 3 to 1 advantage when pulling a line tight.  As can be seen in the labeled diagram, every unit of force pulled on the working end results in three times that unit on the standing line.  The physics of this mechanical advantage is what allows the user to pull the standing line so tight between two objects.  Due to friction through the loop and around the anchor point, the mechanical advantage isn’t a true 3 to 1, but it’s still enough to tighten with impressive force that will rival even modern ratcheting straps.

I’ve also filmed a video about how to tie the Trucker Hitch.  You can watch it here:  http://www.creekstewart.com/trucker-hitch/

If you liked this tutorial and would like to earn 18 more of my favorite survival knots, consider my POCKET FIELD GUIDE: Survival Knots – VOL I.  It can be purchased anywhere books are sold for $6.99.

Remember, it’s not IF but WHEN,

CR///EK

 

Creek’s “Anyone, Anywhere, Anycondition, Anytime” Fire Kit now available at CreekStewart.com

 

 

 

SURVIVAL TREES: BASSWOOD – Amazing survival resources from the Basswood Tree

As spring quickly approaches, I’d thought I share with you why the BASSWOOD tree is one of my favorite Survival Trees!

Introduction

Trees can provide a survivor with elements from all four core survival priorities:  Shelter, Water, Fire and Food.  Trees can be used for warmth, hydration, food, tools, and self-defense.  It’s crazy to think that one can use a tree to start a fire, take shelter under it, and then find themselves able to eat and drink from it.  Trees provide an immeasurable number of materials essential to survival, and studying the different species, as well as what they offer, is a worthwhile endeavor that will pay major survival dividends time and time again.

This article is an except from my much more extensive POCKET FIELD GUIDE titled SURVIVAL TREES that will ship (autographed) in the APRIL FORAGER EDITION APOCABOX.  Each tree is accompanied with illustrated drawings of its leaves and (on occasion) other identifying features, such as fruits, nuts, barks, or buds.  The guide (nor this article) is not designed or intended to be a tree identification guide. Rather, it should act as a supplement to other guides on the subject, offering survival specific information and insight that typically is not covered (or even mentioned) in the average identification guide.  

The use of each tree type is broken down into some or all (if applicable) of the following five survival categories: Shelter, Water, Fire, Food, and Tools & Miscellaneous.  The information contained in these categories has taken me nearly two decades to compile, learn, and test.  Yet, I am sure there are still uses and resources for each tree that I do not know.  It is my hope that this article deepens your knowledge and appreciation for the amazing BASSWOOD tree.

Basswood (American Linden) : Tilia americana

The American Linden, or Basswood, is one of my favorite survival trees.  Not only is it entirely edible, but the Basswood also provides a surprising number of other survival resources.  In Britain, this species is often referred to as the Lime Tree, though it is not the source of the lime fruit.

Shelter

The Basswood tree is not a particularly good tree for shelter.  However, mature Basswoods are notorious for sending up a slew of smaller sucker Basswood trees from their base.  This is one way I am able to identify Basswoods in the winter when their leaves are gone.  These sucker trees are usually very straight, tall, and easy to harvest.  Although not very strong, like oak or maple, they still make great shelter poles if fallen branches aren’t available.  Basswood is a very soft wood and a favorite among wood carvers. Even 2-3” diameter saplings can be cut easily with just a knife.  Consider this option before spending significant calories on a tree of a different variety.

Water 

Basswood trees can be tapped just as a Maple can be tapped.  Although not nearly as high in sugar content and not worth boiling down for a sweet syrup, Basswood sap is incredibly refreshing and is one of the fastest sap trees I’ve ever tapped.  Young sucker trees, as well as 1st season growth on branches (1/2” in diameter or smaller), can provide a survivor with a very functional spile.  The centers of these two are very pithy and can quickly be reamed out with a wire or a thin branch with a sharpened point. I’ve used many a Basswood spile while gathering drinking sap from Basswoods, Maples, and Birches.  Friends of mine who make tobacco pipes will often use a young basswood sucker for the tube because of its hollow nature.

The Basswood is also a sign that you are probably near water, as they prefer moist, water-rich environments.  If you’ve found a Basswood tree, keep looking because there is likely a water source close by.  

Fire

Basswood is not a great wood for extended warmth and heat, but it is without question my favorite wood to use for friction fire kits such as Bow Drill and even Hand Drill.  Basswood, especially sucker trees and 1st year growth branch wood, is the perfect consistency for friction fire lighting.  The light-weight, porous wood generates a nice hot ember very quickly.  Sucker trees at the base of mature trees are my favorite for this, but fallen limbs and branches will work just fine as well.  Regardless, it is one of the softest woods available.  When available, I use Basswood to make both the hearth-board and spindle for my Bow Drill fire kits (see POCKET FIELD GUIDE:  Master the Bow Drill).

Food

Young Basswood leaves are my favorite wild edible green.  I eat a basswood leaf salad at least two times a week from March-May.  When their flowers are in bloom, I will add them to the salad, as they are edible too.  The leaves are very mucilaginous and may pose a texture issue for some.  While edible all throughout the summer, Basswood leaves are best when young and smaller than a silver dollar.  I also like to steep 10 or so flowers in a cup of hot water for 10 minutes to make a fragrant tea that I very much enjoy.

The seeds of the Basswood are edible as well, though, they are time consuming to collect.  They dangle from underneath the leaves in small clusters and are attached to a tongue-shaped bract.  The hard, outer shell must be cracked away to access the edible seed. I simply do this inside my mouth and spit out the hull, although I’ve been known to chew it up on occasion.  When green, before the hull turns hard and brown, these can be ground into a paste or added to soups and stews.  Basswood seeds, leaves, and flowers can all be added to soups and stews.

The inner bark of Basswood (the whitish layers between the rough outer bark and the solid wood) is edible as well and has a very refreshing texture and flavor.  It reminds me of cucumber.  It can be scraped away in handfuls and eaten raw or boiled to break it up and soften it for chewing and digesting.

Basswood leaves can get quite large and make perfect natural tin foil for baking meals in earthen pits or in the coals of a fire.  Wrap food in at least 5-6 layers of green leaves and tie with the peeled bark from young basswood suckers or branches.

An old-timer once told me that he heard of families in the Great Depression who added basswood sawdust to bread-mix as a filler to make rations last longer.  The wood is not poisonous, so it’s something to at least file away in your brain.

Tools & Miscellaneous

As mentioned previously, the hollow tubes from basswood suckers and young branches have many uses.  Some of these include: 

  •        Spiles for tapping trees
  •         Drinking straws
  •         Blowing tubes for making coal-burned containers
  •         Smoking pipes (not necessary for survival but interesting nonetheless)
  •         Trap systems that require a hollow tube (yes, there are some)
  •         Bobbers/floats for fishing

Basswood is a very soft, nonpoisonous wood and makes an excellent medium for a variety of cooking utensils including spoons, ladles, forks, chopsticks, stirring sticks, and spatulas.  Most of these can be carved with just a knife in very little time and with little effort.  Using basswood for such tools also reduces wear and tear on your knife blade.  Due to their fast and straight growth, basswood sucker saplings also make excellent quick and dirty arrows for bow and arrow or atlatl.  They are lightweight, have few branches, and very easy to fire or heat straighten.

By far the most incredible resource the Basswood tree provides is cordage.  That name “BASS”wood is actually derived from the word BAST, which means plant fiber.  The inner bark of the Basswood tree is one of the most easily accessible fibers I’ve ever gathered from the wild.  It is best gathered when the sap is running heavy during the spring months.  With saplings that are 3” in diameter or smaller, the tree can be scored from left to right.  A knife can be used to pick at the score line and once a piece large enough to grab is available, entire strips that are many feet in length can be pulled from the sapling.  If care is taken, saplings can be cut down and the entire sheath of outer and inner bark can be removed in one piece by carefully peeling from the bottom.  Pounding the bark with a wooden mallet (metal will damage the inner bark fibers) will help it to loosen and will be necessary to process trees much larger than 3” in diameter.  I’ve seen sheets of bark pulled from basswood trees (with many hours of careful peeling and pounding) as large as 2 feet wide by 15 feet tall.

The inner bark fibers, just beneath the rough outer bark, can be processed into cordage that can be used to make nets, clothing, baskets, traps, or any other accoutrement necessary for survival.  On the younger saplings with a thin layer of outer bark, the freshly peeled strips of bark can be used right away as crude cordage for shelter building or rough bindings.  In my courses, I’ve seen two adult men pull on opposite sides of a 2” strip of basswood bark and not be able to break it.

For a finer, more pliable cordage, the bark must be soaked (called retting) in water for at least a couple weeks.  The rotting process loosens the inner bark fibers from the outer bark.  It can then be easily pulled away in long ribbons that can be used as is or stripped down into thinner cordage.  The soaking can be done in a container or at the bank of a pond and river.  This process of retting works for many varieties of trees including, Walnut, Willow, Tulip Poplar and Cottonwood to name a few.

Because Basswood bark can be removed in large chunks from the tree (typically during spring months only), it is an excellent candidate for crafting bark containers.  Below is a basic pattern for making a seamless bark container.  The dashed lines represent fold lines.  

 

Conclusion

If you’re like me and like to learn how to glean food and resources from trees and plants, consider subscribing to the APRIL APOCABOX called the FORAGER EDITION.  It is all about foraging and includes an exclusive signed copy of my POCKET FIELD GUIDE titled SURVIVAL TREES where I detailed the survival uses for many more incredible trees on the forest.  To subscribe to the FORAGER APOCABOX, CLICK HERE:  http://www.myapocabox.com

For more of my Pocket Field Guides, please visit my Amazon.com page at: https://www.amazon.com/Creek-Stewart/e/B0076LIRK6/

Remember, it’s not IF but WHEN,

CR///EK

RUGOSA, my 1st fiction survival novel, is finally here!

First – HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!

Wow – this project has been a long time in the making – 6 years to be exact!  But finally, RUGOSA has come to fruition!  As many of you know, I’ve written a lot of books over the past 10 years or so – mainly survival guides.  RUGOSA is my 1st survival fiction novel and it was a much more challenging project for me to write.

First, I found it hard to write a fiction story that wasn’t personal in some way.  I guess most authors have to draw on personal experience to write some of their stories and RUGOSA was no different for me.  But, I guess it’s these personal draws that help to make a story relatable.  I really hope that you will enjoy it!  It’s the 1st book in a 3 book series, so your feedback is important to me as I write the second and third book in the RUGOSA series.

RUGOSA is the story of a young man, Omaha, who must travel 400 miles across hostile lands to save his friends (and sweetheart London) from a war-torn quarantined city.  Like me, Omaha is a Boy Scout.  Although Boy Scouts has been banned by the new world government, Omaha must use the survival skills he learned in scouting, and from his father and grandfather, if he has any hope of surviving the crazy journey.

As a survival instructor first and author second, this fiction story is survival skills heavy.  I think you’ll find it a unique mix of story and teaching – at least I hope so.  I’ll always be a survival instructor!

RUGOSA releases today (Valentine’s Day) exclusively on Amazon in both paperback and digital ebook download at this link:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/0997690690  I’ll be signing the 1st 100 paperback copies sold!  If you pick up a copy – LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK!

I hope you are well and that our paths will cross in 2017!  All the best to you and yours.

Remember, it’s not IF but WHEN,

CR///EK

200 + Survival Hacks!

Hello Friends & Survival Enthusiasts!

Many of you subscribed to my blog because you saw and liked a survival article I’ve written about how to repurpose everyday items to meet basic human survival needs.  I’ve written a ton of them in the past 10 years.  Creatively using random items for survival is still one of my favorite hobbies.  I call it Survival Hacking the art of using what you have to get what you need to stay alive in ANY situation.

energy-hack

 

Ultimately, Survival Hacking involves three aspects:

  1. Using knowledge of basic survival principles
  2. Innovative thinking
  3. Exploiting available resources

match-hack

 

In the nearly two decades I’ve been actively studying and practicing survival skills I’ve learned and seen a ton of great survival hacks.  Whether from books, videos, students or other survival enthusiasts, I’m always on the look out for a new hack I’ve never seen before.  Of course, I’m always trying to come up with hacks of my own as well.  In fact, I’ve logged, tested and compiled over 200 of my favorite Survival Hacks in my new book, titled….  you guessed it – SURVIVAL HACKS!

If you’re like me and enjoy a good survival hack then you’ll love my new book.  It’s already on the AMAZON #1 NEW RELEASE LIST and I promise you’ll see some you’ve never seen before.  WARNING:  This book is going to make you want to test some of these crazy hacks for yourself!!!

AND, I’m already compiling more hacks for VOLUME II so email me your hack ideas and they might make it in the next version!

survival-hacks-creek-stewart

SURVIVAL HACKS is now in stock on AMAZON at:  http://www.amazon.com/Survival-Hacks-Everyday-Items-Wilderness/dp/1440593345

As always, thanks so much for your continued support!  Don’t forget to send me your great survival hack ideas!

Remember, it’s not IF but WHEN,

creek-stewart-survivalist

APOCABOX Holiday Survival Challenge Series: Challenge #3 – Christmas Tree Snow/Bog Shoes

Challenge Series Overview

As APOCABOX subscribers already know, a big part of each box is completing my Survival Skills Challenge issued in each box.  Unlike the APOCABOX Survival Skills Challenge, this survival skills challenge series is open for everyone to participate.  I’ve teamed up with two survival buddies of mine (Hank Gevedon of Reptile Toolworks and Dave Mead of Mead Longbows) to issue a series of THREE Survival Skills Challenges to take place in between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.  The purpose of this challenge series is to not only hone your survival skills but to also utilize holiday products/materials that might traditionally be thrown away.  As I always say, your most important survival skill is the ability to IMPROVISE.  These challenges will call upon those skills and hopefully strengthen them.

And, YES, there are awesome prizes.  Prize details and descriptions below.

Challenge #3: Christmas Tree Snow/Bog Shoes

bog-shoe

Traveling in deep snow of wet bog conditions can be extremely difficult in normal footwear.  This challenge is to create a set of Snow/Bog shoes using the limbs from your Live Cut Christmas Tree.

Challenge Instructions, Tips & Tricks

STEP 1:

Gather 10 saplings (Christmas tree limbs can work for this) that are ideally about as long as you are.  If limbs of this length aren’t available, use the longest ones.  Remove/trim any small branches flush with the limb or sapling.

STEP 2:

Each shoe will be 5 sticks wide.  Line up 5 of your cleaned saplings/limbs so that all the small ends are together.  Tie them together about 2 inches from that end.

snow-shoe

STEP 3:

Now cut 1 solid stick that is approximately 1 inch in diameter x 10 inches long.  This is the 1st of 2 “BRACE STICKS”.  Balance the shoe as best you can on your index finder to find a properly balanced midpoint.  This spot is where the heel of your foot will go.  Lash the cut brace stick across and on top of the shoe at this point.  Lash so that that the 5 saplings/limbs are spaced evenly underneath the 1×10 brace stick.  “U” notches on the underside of the brace stick will help keep the saplings in place.

STEP 4:

Tie thick ends of the show saplings/limbs together leaving a width of at least 1” between them.  A series of overhand knots are sufficient for spacers.  See diagram above.

STEP 5:

Repeat Step 3 to create a second brace for the ball of your feet.  Find this point by placing your heel on the brace stick lashed across in Step 3.

STEP 6:

Repeat Steps 2-5 for other shoe.

bog-shoe-actual

TYING ON YOUR FOOT

While standing on your shoe, tie/lash around the bottom of your shoe (around the brace under the ball of your feet) and up around your toes, knotting it there.  Tie the middle of another section of cordage to that knot and bring the end around your heel and tie them together snuggly there.

**NOTE** Snow shoes will be easier to use if the tip curls up slightly.  A cord tied to the tip of the shoe and pulled tightly to the 1st brace and secured can curl them sufficiently. See photo for details.

Learn a new survival skill every other month with the 

APOCABOX SKILLS CHALLENGE! 

HOW TO ENTER THE CHALLENGE

Myself, Hank and Dave will be the judges of the completed SNOW/BOG SHOE photos submitted for the challenge.  As you can see by the prize details below, there will be three prizes awarded per challenge: an overall winner, a runner up and an honorable mention.  To enter, you must submit a photo of your improvised SNOW/BOG SHOES using one of the following:

1:  SUBMIT on INSTRAGRAM using the hash-tags: #apocabox AND #holidaysurvivalchallenge

2: Post photo on the APOCABOX FACEBOOK page at: http://www.facebook.com/apocabox

3: Email photo to me at creek@creekstewart.com if you don’t use social media

CHALLENGE DURATION:  Challenge starts 12/28/15 and Submission deadline for this challenge is 1/01/16.  Prizes will be announced on 1/02/16.

PRIZE DESCRIPTIONS (All prizes must be mailed to someone 18 years of age or older):

OVERALL GRAND PRIZE

5 HUNTING ARROWHEADS – COLLECTOR’S SET

arrowhead-set

1 of these arrowheads is knapped by a master flint knapper.  The other 4 are cast to match its every detail in 4140 tool steel

ABOUT THESE FLINT 2 STEEL ARROWHEADS

Hank Gevedon had an interest in arrowheads long before he met a most talented flint knapper at a bow hunting show.  The arrow and spear points that he was knapping were being produced using the same technology that had been used for 10-12 thousand years.  The arrow points that he was producing had been in use for over one thousand years on this continent.  The technical side of Hank realized that while the stone-age craftsman had reached the limits of his material, he had not.  Hank saw a vision of producing an exact replica of the stone point in a super tough tool steel.  He then developed a system that allowed him to harden and diamond sharpen these steel replica points.  After overcoming several manufacturing hurdles and extensive testing he has now produced an amazing projectile point.  Hank is now producing an entire line of Flint 2 Steel arrowheads following these techniques that will be available in the near future.  These diamond sharpened points provide amazing serrated penetration on carcasses as well as car doors and steel drums.

For more details on this HUNTING ARROWHEAD Collector’s Set,  visit http://www.facebook.com/meadlongbows or for additional photos email meadlongbows@gmail.com

RUNNER-UP PRIZE

1 Month Subscription to Creek’s Subscription Survival Box – APOCABOX

urban-box

HONORABLE MENTION PRIZE

IshWash Emergency Eyewash Kit + 1 puck of Instant Bowstring

runner-up

CONCLUSION

Good luck!  The deadline for entry in ALL 3 Survival Challenges is January 1st 2016 at MIDNIGHT!

If you’re like me and like SURVIVAL HACKS, consider picking up a copy of my next book: SURVIVAL HACKS on AMAZON at:

http://www.amazon.com/Survival-Hacks-Everyday-Items-Wilderness/dp/1440593345/

survival-hacks-creek-stewart

creek-stewart-survivalist

APOCABOX Holiday Survival Challenge Series: Challenge #2 – Holiday Popcorn Tin Grill/Smoker/Oven

Challenge Series Overview

As APOCABOX subscribers already know, a big part of each box is completing my Survival Skills Challenge issued in each box.  Unlike the APOCABOX Survival Skills Challenge, this survival skills challenge series is open for everyone to participate.  I’ve teamed up with two survival buddies of mine (Hank Gevedon of Reptile Toolworks and Dave Mead of Mead Longbows) to issue a series of THREE Survival Skills Challenges to take place in between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.  The purpose of this challenge series is to not only hone your survival skills but to also utilize holiday products/materials that might traditionally be thrown away.  As I always say, your most important survival skill is the ability to IMPROVISE.  These challenges will call upon those skills and hopefully strengthen them.

And, YES, there are awesome prizes.  Prize details and descriptions below.

Challenge #1: Holiday Popcorn Tin Grill or Oven

popcorn-tin

Using an empty holiday popcorn tin to make a survival style grill or oven may sounds crazy…but you’ll be surprised at how easy it is and how efficient the result can be!

Challenge Instructions, Tips & Tricks

** IMPORTANT NOTE **

Be sure to burn off the “stink” of any improvised survival grill before actually cooking food on it.  The gases and chemicals that come from the paint and lining of some holiday tins can cause illness.  Once burned off you’re good to go!

GRILL DETAILS

popcorn-grill

popcorn-tin-grill-top

Poke ventilation holes (1/2″ to 1″) about an inch up from the bottom every 3-4 around the perimeter of the holiday tin.  A nail, awl, screwdriver, hammer & needle nose plyers will all make nice holes.

Use wire hangers for grill grates.  Poke holes to feed wires through about 2 inches down from the top of the can.  Bend ends to keep in place.

popcorn-grill

Make a fire on the bottom or place hot cools in the bottom and grill!

popcorn-grill-actual

OVEN DETAILS

tin-oven

This method requires no fire in the tin.  Instead, you will use the tin with or without the lid as an oven by placing it beside a fire.  Very simple concept but difficult to control food burn.  You can also place your meat on a stake and place the tin on top of it and build a fire around the tin.  This has been done with a small game bird in the photo above.

** Remember, 1st fire should be used to burn the “stink” off! **

Learn a new survival skill every other month with the 

APOCABOX SKILLS CHALLENGE! 

HOW TO ENTER THE CHALLENGE

Myself, Hank and Dave will be the judges of the completed GRILL/OVEN photos submitted for the challenge.  As you can see by the prize details below, there will be three prizes awarded per challenge: an overall winner, a runner up and an honorable mention.  To enter, you must submit a photo of your improvised Christmas Tree Survival Bow using one of the following:

1:  SUBMIT on INSTRAGRAM using the hash-tags: #apocabox AND #holidaysurvivalchallenge

2: Post photo on the APOCABOX FACEBOOK page at: http://www.facebook.com/apocabox

3: Email photo to me at creek@creekstewart.com if you don’t use social media

CHALLENGE DURATION:  Challenge starts 12/28/15 and Submission deadline for this challenge is 1/01/16.  Prizes will be announced on 1/02/16.

PRIZE DESCRIPTIONS (All prizes must be mailed to someone 18 years of age or older):

OVERALL GRAND PRIZE

DIY TURKISH ARROW KIT

arrow-kit

Build your ow3 Beautiful Turkish style arrows!

This kit includes traditional Turkish knocks, cast tool steel trilobite hunting points (see detail on these below), exquisite bamboo shafts and slick and silent turkey feather fletchings.

The trilobite arrow tips used in this kit with the three bladed shape, internal socket and cutting capability are considered the apex of ancient arrowhead technology.  The nomadic Scythian group fully developed the use of lost wax technology to produce these arrowheads in easy to cast bronze.

Hank Gevedon had the vision of a three bladed Trilobite arrowhead that would have evolved if the nomadic tribes had the technology available to cast the heads in a super tough tool steel alloy.

With this vision, Hank hand carved a wooden model and made a three piece mold exactly as the ancient metalsmiths would have done.  Then, he had a modern silicone rubber mold produced from a hand poured bronze original that he made from the hand carved wooden pattern.  Finally, the waxes produced from the silicone molds are used to produce an extremely high quality tool steel casting from the wax model.

This arrowhead pattern is the forerunner of almost every three bladed arrowhead that we currently use.  Hank and Dave are proud to bring this ancient technology back to life.

For more details on this DIY Turkish Arrow Kit visit http://www.facebook.com/meadlongbows or for additional photos email meadlongbows@gmail.com

RUNNER-UP PRIZE

1 Month Subscription to Creek’s Subscription Survival Box – APOCABOX

urban-box

HONORABLE MENTION PRIZE

IshWash Emergency Eyewash Kit + 1 puck of Instant Bowstring

runner-up

CONCLUSION

Good luck!  1 more Holiday Survival Challenges to be announced in the coming days!

If you’re like me and like SURVIVAL HACKS, consider picking up a copy of my next book: SURVIVAL HACKS on AMAZON at:

http://www.amazon.com/Survival-Hacks-Everyday-Items-Wilderness/dp/1440593345/

survival-hacks-creek-stewart

creek-stewart-survivalist

APOCABOX Holiday Survival Challenge Series: Challenge #1 – Christmas Tree Survival Bow

Challenge Series Overview

As APOCABOX subscribers already know, a big part of each box is completing my Survival Skills Challenge issued in each box.  Unlike the APOCABOX Survival Skills Challenge, this survival skills challenge series is open for everyone to participate.  I’ve teamed up with two survival buddies of mine (Hank Gevedon of Reptile Toolworks and Dave Mead of Mead Longbows) to issue a series of THREE Survival Skills Challenges to take place in between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.  The purpose of this challenge series is to not only hone your survival skills but to also utilize holiday products/materials that might traditionally be thrown away.  As I always say, your most important survival skill is the ability to IMPROVISE.  These challenges will call upon those skills and hopefully strengthen them.

And, YES, there are awesome prizes.  Prize details and descriptions below.

Challenge #1: Christmas Tree Survival Bow

christmas-tree-illustration

If you have a live cut Christmas tree in your home this season, this challenge just may be for you!  Rather than throw the tree away or burn it, how about making a fully functional survival BOW from it.  Yes, a very effective survival bow can be made from the trunk of your live cut Christmas tree!

Challenge Instructions, Tips & Tricks

STEP 1:  Drag the tree outside and chop off all the limbs flush with the trunk.  It will look something similar to the illustration below.

bow-stave

STEP 2: Collect anything you can use for lashings and bowstrings later – ribbons, bows, wrapping twine, etc.

SIZE CONSIDERATIONS

bow-string

If the tree trunk is over 2” in diameter for the majority of its length your best bet is to split it in half down its length.  Once split, work with the best half.  You will still have a stave that has one small end and one fat end.  If small end is approximately ½ – ¾ inch thick and larger end is approximately 1 – 1 ½ inches thick then string it up and give it a go.  If you are dealing with a much larger tree you can split it a second time or just do some serious tapering on the ends.  The goal is to get the ends to match.

trimming-bow

Another option is to split the trunk, flip the pieces and lash the two fat ends together with a 5-6 inch overlap.

bow-no-string

If somehow you have a tree that is only 1 inch in diameter you can string it up & try as is – OR – cut it in half, split one half longways and lash the fat ends together with a 5-6 inch overlap.

christmas-tree-bow-handle

bow-illustration

*It’s very common for a bow to end up asymmetrical with a longer top limb.  To compensate, simply grip the bow below center.

Learn a new survival skill every other month with the 

APOCABOX SKILLS CHALLENGE! 

HOW TO ENTER THE CHALLENGE

Myself, Hank and Dave will be the judges of the completed bow photos submitted for the challenge.  As you can see by the prize details below, there will be three prizes awarded per challenge: an overall winner, a runner up and an honorable mention.  To enter, you must submit a photo of your improvised Christmas Tree Survival Bow using one of the following:

1:  SUBMIT on INSTRAGRAM using the hash-tags: #apocabox AND #holidaysurvivalchallenge

2: Post photo on the APOCABOX FACEBOOK page at: http://www.facebook.com/apocabox

3: Email photo to me at creek@creekstewart.com if you don’t use social media

CHALLENGE DURATION:  Challenge starts 12/25/15 and Submission deadline for this challenge is 1/01/16.  Prizes will be announced on 1/02/16.

PRIZE DESCRIPTIONS (All prizes must be mailed to someone 18 years of age or older):

OVERALL GRAND PRIZE

DIY HORSE BOW KIT

horse-bow-kit

Everything you need to make a HORSE BOW is in this kit.  It is an ancient design and all natural materials.  Hunt with it the same day.  To see the HORSE BOW in action visit http://www.facebook.com/meadlongbows or for additional photos email meadlongbows@gmail.com

RUNNER-UP PRIZE

1 Month Subscription to Creek’s Subscription Survival Box – APOCABOX

urban-box

HONORABLE MENTION PRIZE

IshWash Emergency Eyewash Kit + 1 puck of Instant Bowstring

runner-up

CONCLUSION

Good luck!  2 more Holiday Survival Challenges to be announced in the coming days!

If you’re like me and like SURVIVAL HACKS, consider picking up a copy of my next book: SURVIVAL HACKS on AMAZON at:

http://www.amazon.com/Survival-Hacks-Everyday-Items-Wilderness/dp/1440593345/

survival-hacks-creek-stewart

creek-stewart-survivalist

 

You’re not going to believe what I do with this 2-liter bottle.

Just in case you missed the most recent episode of FAT GUYS IN THE WOODS, I had to write this blog post and show you a cool survival skill that I think you’ll really enjoy.  And, it’s a great way to source some awesome cordage in a pinch.  I call it the 2-Liter Bottle Cordage Jig.

2-liter-jig

Years ago I saw a video about how a small factory was recycling 2-liter bottles to make woven baskets.  They had a fancy electric powered piece of equipment that would allow an operator to feed in trash 2-liter bottles and it would strip them into long pieces of plastic that would then be coiled on a spool and used to weave baskets.

2-liter-trash

Trash 2-liter bottles (or similar) can be found all over the world, especially in coastal areas.  During our week filming FAT GUYS IN THE WOODS in the Florida Swamps I decided to create a primitive version of making cordage from 2-liter bottles using just my knife, my folding saw and a sapling stump.

2-liter-jig-knife

 

Below is a link to the YouTube video filmed for the show that I think you will find very educational.  It’s rare to find a survival skill that you’ve never seen before and I’m proud to bring one to you in this post!

!!!VIDEO LINK HERE!!!

Like I always say, survival is about using what you have to get what you need and this skill is a prime example of that philosophy.

Remember, it’s not IF but WHEN,

creek-stewart-survivalist

Episode 202 – This week on FAT GUYS IN THE WOODS + the Gear List

blog5

This Sunday for Episode 202 of Fat Guys in the Woods we’re headed north to Drummond Island, MI for a freezing week in the Moose Spruce wilderness.  This north woods is covered with spruce, hemlock, pine, birch and SNOW!  Tennessee natives Kyle, Brian and Martin and in for a rude awakening when they’re delivered to Drummond Island via the only way to get there – by FERRY through frigid Lake Huron.

blog7

You’re not going to believe the series of events that get us through an incredibly dangerous week.  One of my days during this week turned out to be one of my best and worst days in the woods – you don’t want to miss it.

blog4

Below is a Gear List for this episode for those of you who are interested:

Creek’s Scarf:  Surplus military from http://www.sportsmansguide.com/product/index/20-pk-new-czech-military-surplus-bandanas?a=1772426 

Creek’s Axe Sling:  https://www.etsy.com/listing/194102930/leather-axe-shoulder-strap-carry-sling?ref=shop_home_feat_1

The axe Creek gives the guys:  Husqvarna : http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004WJGXAQ/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B004WJGXAQ&linkCode=as2&tag=wwwwillowhave-20&linkId=UY53YLO7CLUDJ7XO

Creek’s Coat: Filson Wool Packer Coat:  http://www.filson.com/products/wool-packer-coat.10040.html?fromCat=true&fvalsProduct=mens/coats-jackets&fmetaProduct=1011/

Knife # 1: Main Survival Knife:  Blackbird SK5: http://www.notifbutwhensurvivalstore.com/product-p/on7500-brk.htm

Knife # 1: Sheath: Hedgehog Leatherworks: http://www.hedgehogleatherworks.com/Leather-Sheath-for-the-Ontario-Blackbird-SK5-Knife-p/h-at.htm

Knife # 2: Custom handmade knife given to Creek by Bill Anderson from Season 1 of Fat Guys in the Woods – Thanks Bill – it worked AWESOME!

Knife # 2: Sheath: Custom Sheath by Voyager Leatherworks – I highly recommend them if you are looking for a custom leather sheath: http://www.voyagerleatherworks.com/

The knife I give the guys: Finn Bear Knife: http://www.notifbutwhensurvivalstore.com/product-p/cs20pc-brk.htm

Klean Kanteen: http://www.notifbutwhensurvivalstore.com/Klean-Kanteen-40-ounce-Bottle-p/559529-lm.htm

Stainless Mug:  http://www.notifbutwhensurvivalstore.com/Oilcamp-Stainless-Steel-Utility-Mug-p/330441-lm.htm

Creek’s Pack:  Maxpedition Vulture-II:  http://www.notifbutwhensurvivalstore.com/Maxpedition-Vulture-II-Bug-Out-Bag-p/mx514-brk.htm

TUNE IN

I hope you catch Sunday’s episode.  You just aren’t going to believe our luck – GOOD and BAD!  It airs only on The Weather Channel at 9pm Eastern.

Remember, it’s not IF but WHEN,

creek-stewart-survivalist

 

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