Swift | Silent | Deadly


Self Reliance


Comprehensive: How to Build a Fire

There are few skills that are as universal as building a fire. From remote Afghani villagers who have never seen a cell phone to the most Gucci’d-out backpackers, the fundamentals of building a fire don’t change much. It comes as a surprise to me when I encounter individuals who can’t build a fire…even though I encounter them with some regularity. This post is going to take a very deep dive (13,000 words and 70 photos, or about 6-8 times longer than the average article here) into how to build a fire.

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Medical Multi-Tool: The Triangular Bandage

The tourniquet is the rock-star in the world of medical devices. Tourniquets are the latest in an ever-growing list of  strongly-encouraged EDC items. If I had my ‘druthers I would always have a full medical kit at hand. That’s not always possible, so if I had to limit myself to a single medical device, I’d choose the most versatile single item. Instead of a tourniquet, I’d choose the multi-tool of medical stuff: the triangular bandage. I know that’s a controversial position, so let me explain.

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Some Thoughts on Quitting Tobacco

I quit using tobacco on 23 November, 2019. My last dose of nicotine via the patch was on January 5, 2020. I was a daily user of Copenhagen Snuff for over 20 years and finally, somehow, got the gumption to give it up.  This article will tell you why you should quit, talk about the process of quitting (and it is a process), and list some things that might help.

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Wilderness Predator Defense

My girlfriend and I have been doing a good bit of hiking lately. I am always interested in what we can do to improve our chances of survival if something were to go wrong. On our last hike I was thinking about wilderness predator defense. This article will cover some general principles regardless of what predators you may encounter, as well as a little specific advice here and there.

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Making (and Keeping) New Year’s Resolutions

New Year’s Day is right around the corner. This time a year brings out two types of people: those making resolutions and those who poo-poo making resolutions. I happen to be a fan of making New Year’s Resolutions. I might get some grief but, hey – I kept mine. Today I’ll share some of the things that have helped me make resolutions that are possible to stick to for an entire year.

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Tips for Using Sparking Fire-Starters

Sparking fire-starters are a mainstay of wilderness survival kits. They are rugged, waterproof, and have the potential to light thousands of fires. They aren’t terribly expensive and you can find one of just about any size or form-factor from keychain-sized models to large, purpose-built versions. For all their virtues, lighting a fire with them can be tougher than you might think. Today I will offer a few hard-won tips for using sparking fire-starters.

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Food Preparedness on $20 a Paycheck

For a long time I’ve been telling friends, family, and readers how easy and inexpensive preparedness can be. I recently got curious about what a reasonable dollar amount – say $20 a paycheck – could actually do for one’s preparedness. I decided to find out, first-hand, and report the results to you. I’m pretty excited and consider this little experiment a success!

Read MoreFood Preparedness on $20 a Paycheck