Swift | Silent | Deadly


Self Reliance


The Basic First Aid Kit

I’m guilty of getting a little too in-the-weeds sometimes. I like to explore topics to a point of near-expertise and where possible gain some actual experience in those topics. First aid is one such topic. I’ve written several articles on first aid kits and thought I would take a moment today to add a sanity-check to the mix. Today I’m going to veer away from sexy, expensive tools and talk explore the basic first aid kit.

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Self Defense for EMS Professionals

By the very nature of the job Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel are exposed to dangerous situations. Emergencies are fluid, fast-moving affairs and they often happen in sketchy places. Patients are sometimes combative due to the call itself (assaults, domestic violence), or being drunk or high. EMS crews are asked to go into “bad” neighborhoods, walk into strange houses, and be left alone with a person they just met. There’s a lot that can go wrong. Today I’m going to explore some options for self-defense for EMS professionals.

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Why You Should Become an EMT

I was MIA for most of last week. I was doing clinicals – 12-hour shifts in an ambulance – for my EMT class, which didn’t leave me much bandwidth for anything else. While I was riding around in an ambulance I had a lot of time to reflect on a recent reader question: Would you consider penning [an] article regarding your EMT course? That’s something I’d be interested in pursuing…

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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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Neighborhood Rapport/Community-Building Follow Up

Two of my best, most original pieces of writing on this blog are two of the least popular articles here. They deal with building rapport with your immediate neighbors and building rapport with your larger community. If you haven’t, I strongly encourage you to go back and read those articles. Today I’m going to follow-up with some lessons learned, and share our success and failures.

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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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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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