Wilderness survival television testing new limits

Wilderness survival television testing new limits

Surviving abrupt isolation, on tap for summer 2015. “… isolation can suck at the soul. It can bring a man to his knees in a surprisingly short time, quicker indeed than many physical or physiological factors.” John Leach, Survival Psychology*. History Channel premiered their new wilderness survival series, Alone, June 18, 2015. Alone features ten men (already down to eight in just a few days), all would-be survivors, dropped off alone in separate remote inlets along the west coast of…

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Glow cord, visual signaling day and night

Glow cord, visual signaling day and night

Have you ever lost camp tools in the bottomless night of a moonless, moist Midwestern woodland?–find them with glow cord lanyards. Tools dropped into deep taiga snow pack?–spot them easily using glow cord snow flags. Tripping over your own tent guy lines at night in your local state park?–see your glow cord guy lines every time. Trouble returning to your wilderness stealth campsite after dark?–find it quickly by stringing a glow cord streamer high over a branch limb, and leave…

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Getting to the bottom of trail mix packaging

Getting to the bottom of trail mix packaging

I mix my own GORP (Good Old Raisins and Peanuts). Not so much for cost savings as for content control; less salt, less sugar, more nut meat, less cheap filler. My winter trail mix includes much more than raisins and peanuts. I include six kinds of nuts & seeds, dried apricot pieces, dried blueberries, raisins, and one cheat sweet, the raisins are yogurt dipped. I always make more trail mix than I need for upcoming outings because I buy consumer…

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Regular Carry common sense, a cure for EDC

Regular Carry common sense, a cure for EDC

The popular acronym “EDC” (Every Day Carry) is burdened with too much baggage, these days. At Outdoor Readiness, we are likely to use “EDC” only when characterizing a favorite folding knife. We use the terms “Regular Carry”, “Casual Carry”, and “Kit Carry” when characterizing when and if we carry this or that tool, gadget, gizmo, or article of clothing. An epidemic of acronyms gone viral has infected outdoor jargon during the present Tactical Age. “EDC” has proved particularly contagious. “EDC”…

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Who needs a winter road kit?

Who needs a winter road kit?

A convoluted story of climate change, melting arctic sea ice, a deranged polar vortex, unexpected Midwestern snowstorms and complacent Midwestern drivers is captured in a single Kentucky highway image and the many stories of stranded motorists going nowhere for a while. Some had been stranded in their cold vehicles for eighteen hours by mid-afternoon March 5, 2015, National Guardsmen on their way. They will help priority cases, first. Others will wait and wait, gasoline going, going, gone, chill compounding. Ask…

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Legendary heavy metal, the Becker BK-2 Campanion knife

Legendary heavy metal, the Becker BK-2 Campanion knife

Testing utility and durability of the Becker BK-2. Is the BK-2 a good choice for a wilderness survival knife? The Becker BK-2 Campanion knife manufactured by KA-BAR® is one of blade designer Ethan Becker’s earliest big successes in more ways than one. The BK-2 is a big horse of a knife and it has long been a big seller. In the hands of a skilled outdoorsman, it’s a heavy weight performer for woodcraft–like a big draft horse in the reins…

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Chimney kettles, all weather biofuels burners

Chimney kettles, all weather biofuels burners

Chimney kettles are small biofuels burners for all weather water boiling in a hurry No other small biofuels burner I’ve used gets water steaming hot faster during foul weather than a chimney kettle. I use the stainless steel Kelly Kettle® Trekker model, their smallest, for up to 19 ounces of hot water in a hurry. Nothing stills the chills and brings the feeling back to numb fingers and toes like a belly full of your favorite steaming hot drink. Hot sweet…

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Felco 600 folding saw, a Readiness Kit essential

Felco 600 folding saw, a Readiness Kit essential

The Felco 600 folding saw is my choice for a small fuel gathering and shelter construction backup tool. It’s a commercial grade tool used by many professional horticulturists for daily use in arboretums and for landscape maintenance, due to its design and durability. Important features: Felco’s unique patented conical blade design is thickest at the cutting teeth, thinning upward. This design ejects sawdust and reduces binding. The blade metal and tooth geometry hold sharpness and cut deep with ease on…

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Dachstein’s, excellent woolens, old and new

Dachstein’s, excellent woolens, old and new

Dachstein’s are thick, dense wool mittens offering cold protection like no others. Their dense weave and felt-like finish offer water resistance and nearly windproof warmth and comfort. I’ve used durable Dachstein’s for many years. These are among the best work-a-day mittens available anywhere. Warming qualities of Dachstein’s… “Warm when wet” is an informal tag line used for nearly all woolens, but not all woolens add up to the sum of rugged functional characteristics found among traditional woolens originating in cottage…

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Tsampa Soup, a new product from Patagonia Provisions, Inc.

Tsampa Soup, a new product from Patagonia Provisions, Inc.

Tsampa Soup delivers the great taste of supply chain ethics. I’m no food critic, but I know what I like! Yvon Chouinard, world class climber and ethical entrepreneur, founder of outdoor retailer, Patagonia, is expanding his new food business. At this time, his food retailer, Patagonia Provisions, Inc., offers responsibly sourced wild caught salmon introduced in 2012, and organic Tsampa Soup introduced in 2014. I bought a twelve-pack of Tsampa Soup packets for $70.20. Each packet makes two cups of…

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