Wednesday, August 29, 2012

To Read The News...

I don't like to watch the news on TV or much of anything. What was informative and objective is now just government propaganda. I suppose that since the advent of modern communications this is the natural course every society takes.

As mentioned in one of my other posts I primarily use Linux and Mac. I get most of my news using an RSS reader. I have "attached" to feeds from Marketwatch, Zerohedge, France 24, etc. The list is endless and more than one source is recommended so that the user can verify the story. But, sometimes I find information that seems to start from one source and then picked up and carried by others. This can be a pain for sure.

For Linux I use Liferea. Most of the RSS readers have the same type of GUI. Down the left side you will see you sources. The middle top is where the article title is presented. When the user selects the article the bottom portion of the GUI displays the article or article brief. A simple click will open the full article for consumption. On the Mac I have NewsNetWire. These RSS readers can be set to update by minutes or hours. Plenty of options. Up to the user.

Exercise your brain. Read the news and more right from your PC.


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A Belt...

Having a belt serves so many purposes. Primarily a belt is used to hold up your pants. But, on occasion your belt can be used as a tool.

1. Emergency tourniquet to tie off a bleeding limb.
2. Hang a piece of gear from a tree.
3. Tie up poles for an emergency shelter.

The list goes on and on. It just depends how creative you are and what you expect to accomplish. I use a belt for the good ole' keep the pants up. Most of the time a canvas type belt with a cinch buckle works for me. If I am required to wear a suit or some sort of casual business I will use a leather belt.

But, when I head out into the woods I am not really inclined to have all sorts of gadgets hanging on the same belt I use to hold up my field pants or shorts. Just adds to much weight and the average belt will fold over. This makes for an uncomfortable day as the average belt is one inch in height.

What I like to use is something called a riggers belt. These belts are normally one & three-quarters inch in height and thickness is almost a quarter inch. Not as tall as the USGI web belt. But, they will support what ever I need to place on them. For example some holsters & knife sheath(s) will not fit the USGI web belt, but will readily slide on the the riggers belt. The riggers belt also has a nifty little option to allow the user to repel or let's say be recovered. This loop is neatly tucked away and strapped down beside the cinch buckle.

I bought a Blackhawk belt which seemed to shrink... Well, rather I seemed to expand. I found this belt to be very well made, but thin in thickness. So, I had to find one that "stretched" to my needs and was a bit more rigid. I picked up an Emerson which is thick compared to the Blackhawk and sits really well. I don't have it loaded with tons of stuff; just a couple items. Riggers belts can be had on e-bay or Amazon. But, if you are on a budget the e-bay deal is tough to beat.

** Keep an old leather belt in your pack. You can use it to sharpen your knife. Check out this Youtube video by BushcraftOnFire:

Sharpening A Knife Without Tools


Saturday, August 25, 2012

A Spoon...

I came across a couple of videos on Youtube about carving or whittling a spoon. It is not as easy as you think. Years ago I had to make one to eat with. Mine turned out to be more like a scoop. I found out in the videos that there is something called a hook knife. So, I had to order one and see how well it worked out. Making a spoon with a knife can be done, but the hook knife is definitely handy.
Yesterday was a really nice day. I took a break from working on the bow drill and decided to test out the hook knife. Here is a video on the spoon I created. More like a spoon to stir the pot, but looks fairly good.

The two video I came across are here BenOrford & Bushcraftbartons.

Once again if you don't practice don't expect to get the task done. Even if you don't have the hook knife make something. Remember to practice knife safety as a cut can ruin your day.


Thursday, August 23, 2012

To Make a Survival Kit...

I like to get out into the woods and walk around. At one point I did some camping and working on getting back to that. But, when you head off for a hike or camping you should have a few things with you. Many opinions exist on what an individual should have and there are a ton of references. Some cost a lot of money and some fit in an Altoids tin. These kits are designed to have with you where ever you go. Whether you are in the woods or taking a trip to the store.

I was checking out another blog where a step by step process was used to create a nice compact kit. Check out these links to Stealth Survival. The kit built here is a basic well rounded unit and will serve you well.

DIY Survival Kit Part 1
DIY Survival Kit Part 2
DIY Survival Kit Part 3
DIY Survival Kit Part 4
DIY Survival Kit Part 5
DIY Survival Kit Part 6
DIY Survival Kit Part 7
DIY Survival Kit Part 8

You will need to adjust the contents to your needs or maybe something like this is what you need. Take the time to do your research, figure out what you need for your locale.

Reading an article or watching a video won't get it done and you won't learn much. Give it a try, learn to use some tools, techniques. Create one for you and your family members. Sometimes it's the little things that can make a difference.


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

To Have Some Privacy...

So we have known for sometime that the internet is not a private experience. Between the government and nosy people we cannot go about our business or general internet browsing without fear of someone stealing our identity. I have changed up how I do things to try and win back a bit of privacy. I don't do much on the internet. Mostly reading news, how-to's, history, etc.
Sometimes I get e-mails that say they are from my brother or son. At some point these two have had their e-mails compromised, it could be me. Who knows at this point. I have gone through the process of changing passwords and scrubbing my data to make sure it is clean. I also changed what I use to query the web.

I primarily use Linux as my OS and Firefox for the web browser. Below are the changes I have made in an attempt to make my browsing more secure.

1. Loaded the Ghostery & Betterprivacy plugin for Firefox.
2. Blocked all the tracking cookies
3. Turned on the privacy option in Firefox, delete all cookies upon closing Firefox.
4. Use Startpage for all searches.

I also went so far to load up TOR. This will be handy as we head down the censorship path on the web.

If you want to maintain privacy, not partake in censorship, or maybe you like to think for yourself take a look at the options above. A lot of information on securing your browsing is out there, you just need to take the responsibility and do the research.

** Be aware that you are never totally secure. Bad people will find ways to access your information. Why make it easy?


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Starting a Fire...

I have been away from doing anything in the woods for some time now. So I decided to get back where it is quiet and listen to the critters. Started to get refreshed on some bushcraft skills. First up was trying to start a fire. Pretty straight forward, no matches or lighters. I used the fire stick for one and a magnesium stick for the other.
Next on the list is to create a bow drill.

Here are a couple of links to my youtube channel where I captured the process.

Used cotton balls with a thin layer of petroleum jelly.

I used shaved cedar bark, pine pitch, and some magnesium for this one.

Getting out there and practicing is most helpful. Never know when you need a fire.

More to come....