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ASG_1412_COVER1 10/6/14 4:20 AM Page US1

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

LOCKDOWN:

PREPARE YOUR HOME


FOR ANY EMERGENCY

OK:
O
L
T
S
R
FI
CTICAL
A
T
S

D
DR
AWK
TOMAH

SIX CELL
PHONE
SURVIVAL
TOOLS
THAT
WORK

VOLUME 3 ISSUE 7

THE LAST
LINE OF
DEFENSE:
INSIDE
THE CDC

|||||||||||||||

OUT OF THE
ELEMENTS:

17 TARP
SHELTERS
|||||||||||||||

SNOWBOUND
AND HUNGRY:

BIOLOGICAL
WARFARE
HOW READY
ARE YOU?

HOW THE DONNER


PARTY SURVIVED
SPECIAL SECTIONS

Learn To Read a Topo Map


Make a Tea-Light Heater
When the Bleeding Wont Stop
Fieldstrip Your Colt 1911

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ASG_1412_TOC-CX.qxp 10/7/14 9:52 PM Page 4

52
COVER

INVISIBLE
WEAPONS
Bacteria, Bugs,
and Bioterrorism:
Surviving Something
You Cant See
By Carrie Visintainer

DECEMBER 2014

John Galletta is a anti-nuclear terrorist trainer and one of the


driving forces behind apparel company Brothers & Arms USA.
Biohazard suit is courtesy Orange County Waste Management,
Securis Tactical Tomahawk courtesy DRD Tactical.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE (ISSN 2331-8937) Volume 3, Number 7 is published 9 times a year January, February, April/May, June, July, August, September, November, December by Engaged Media by Beckett, LLC,
22840 Savi Ranch Pkwy., Suite 200, Yorba Linda, CA 92887. POSTMASTER: send address changes to American Survival Guide c/o Engaged Media by Beckett, 4635 McEwen Road, Dallas, TX 75244. 2014 by Beckett
Media, LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction of any material from this issue in whole or in part is strictly prohibited. GST #855050365RT001 Canada Post: Publications Mail Agreement #40612608. Return undeliverable
Canadian addresses to: PITNEY BOWES, INC. P.O. Box 25542 London, ON N6C 6B2.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

ASG_1412_TOC-CX.qxp 10/7/14 9:52 PM Page 5

VOLUME 3, ISSUE 7 | DECEMBER 2014

FEATURES
16 A LITTLE GIRLS DREAM:
THE KIRAVAN

BACKCOUNTRY

An Uber-Techy Million-Dollar
Adventure Truck
By Ryan Lee Price

90 INTRODUCTION

24 STORIES OF SURVIVAL:
THE DONNER PARTY

94 MOBILE SURVIVAL KIT

28 CIRCUMVENTING
CATASTROPHE

98 THE FUTURE IS IN THE CLOUDS

60 MISSION CRITICAL
Inside the Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention
By Ryan Lee Price

122 BEING SELF-SUFFICIENT


The 10 Key Capabilities and 35 Must-Haves
You Need During An Emergency
By Larry Schwartz

URBAN
66 INTRODUCTION

103 SUPER GRILL MASTER


The Volcano III Triple-Source Collapsible Grill
By Ryan Lee Price

DRDs Securis Tactical Tomahawk


By Ryan Lee Price

108 A ROOF OF POLYETHYLENE


17 Ways to Make a Shelter from a Tarp
By Ryan Lee Price

114 THE SOG JUNGLE WARRIOR

81 AVOID THE DRAIN:

WATER RECLAMATION

How to Read and Orient a


Topographical Map
By Ryan Lee Price

116

39 CHEAP HEAT
How to Make a Tea-Light Heater
By Ryan Lee Price

42 BREAKDOWN
How to Field Strip a Colt M1911
By Ryan Lee Price

COLUMNS
6 FIRST WORDS
8 NEW PRODUCTS
12 NEWS & NOTES

32 PREPPING WITH RALSTON


130 DEAD END

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

DECEMBER 2014

Mankinds Oldest Technologies Meets


Todays Most Basic Needs
By Larry Schwartz

85

This is Not Your Daddys Pocket Knife


By Ryan Lee Price

36 NEVER GET LOST

Surviving the Unknown in the Place You


Know Best: Home
By Jeff Zurschmeid

62

106 BRAIN BUSTER

Solkoas SUMA Pro Survival Kit


By Ryan Lee Price

76 LOCKDOWN

46

Using Clouds to Predict the Weather


By Ryan Lee Price

HOW-TO

Putting Together the Last Get-Home Bag


You Will Ever Need
By Creek Stewart

46 GAS MASKS
62 ENTRENCHING TOOLS
85 GENERATORS
116 CAMP LANTERNS

Six Ways Your Cell Phone Can Save Your Life


By Creek Stewart

67 BIG SURVIVAL COMES IN


SMALL PACKAGES

70 DESTINATION: HOME

PHOTO BY GUY SPANGENBERG

Combating Heat-Related Illnesses


By Jeff Zurschmeide

A Journey into the Greatest Tragedy in the


History of Western Migration
By Bryan Dumas

How to Avoid Disaster in the Safest City


in America
By Larry Schwartz

THE COVER:
Photography: THINKSTOCK
Design: JESSE CAO

91 WHITE HOT KILLER

GEAR
GUIDES

ASG_1412_EDIT 10/2/14 1:10 PM Page 6

FIRSTWORDS

BY RYAN LEE PRICE

VOLUME 3, ISSUE 7 / DECEMBER 2014


EDITORIAL
Editor-in-Chief: Ryan Lee Price
Managing Editor: Kari Windes
Senior Creative Director: Eric Knagg
Art Director: Jesse Cao

Battle Of The Bugs

CONTRIBUTORS
Tim Ralston, Larry Schwartz, Tori Tellem, Jeff
Zurschmeide

DECEMBER 2014

ADVERTISING

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

Gabe Frimmel - Ad Sales Director


(714) 200-1930 - GFrimmel@Beckett.com
Casey Clifford - Senior Account Executive
(714) 312-6275
Mark Pack - Senior Account Executive
(714) 200-1939
Gennifer Merriday - Ad Traffic Coordinator

DIRECT MARKETING GROUP


John Bartulin
Paul Caca
Ryan Lauro

(866) 866-5146 ext. 2746


(866) 866-5146 ext. 4961
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Celia Merriday: Newsstand Analyst
Mohit Patel: Newsstand and Production Analyst
Alberto Chavez: Senior Logistics & Facilities Manager
John Cabral: Creative Graphic Designer

EDITORIAL, PRODUCTION & SALES OFFICE


22840 Savi Ranch Parkway, #200
Yorba Linda, CA 92887
Ph: (800) 332-3330
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PHOTO COURTESY OF THE CDC

MOST NORMAL PEOPLE dont really think about germs. People wash their hands
(not often enough probably), maybe dash on some Purell when the situation calls
for it, and thats about it. If you get sick, you get sick, and theres very little people
think they can do about it. And theyd be right.
The human body is literally covered from head to toe with germs, 24 hours a
day, seven days a week, and theres nothing you can do about it. Around 10,000 different species of microbes are infesting every nook and cranny of your body, but
what might shock you is that adds up to easily a couple of pounds of germs and
microbes.
Interestingly, no amount of washing or lathering on anti-bacterial lotion is going
to remove the thousands of microorganisms that call you their home. Even though
most everyone harbors low levels of some very harmful types of
bacteria in their stomachspathogens that are known for
causing specific infections like salmonella, shigella,
yersinia, and vibrio cholerae, for examplethere are
a host of good bacteria crawling around in there
too that your body needs to survive. Washing
your hands is a good thing. You cant do it
often enough, but for some, the thought of
being caked in bacteria causes them to
overuse anti-bacterial lotion. It does a great
job at not only killing the bad bacteria and
germs that threaten your health on a daily
basis, but it also kills the good bacteria,
like Staphylococci, which is present on the
skin and helps blood to clot.
When my daughter was almost two, she
developed a sore throat, fever and a rash, so
we paid a visit to our pediatrician for an
examination, thinking it was just a simple
virus. The doctor took one look at her and
announced that she had been stricken with scarlet
fever. It sounded so dire, so Victorian, like out of a
Emily Bront novel. In fact, in The Velveteen Rabbit, the little boys toys had to be burned because of scarlet fever, and in
the World War Zs climactic ending, Brad Pitts character injects himself
with scarlet fever to ward off zombies.
Sure, my daughters body was busy fighting the disease, but it was a losing battle, and later, when I did some research on scarlet fever, it was chilling to read that
if she were born 100 years earlier (or left untreated), the virus would have eventually killed her. The discovery of penicillin in 1928 quickly put the reins on the disease, and my daughter is happy and healthy today because of it.
On page 50, we take a closer look at germs, microbes, and bacteria, but from a
more sinister approach. From plague-riddle bodies tossed over the walls of
besieged cities to assassins with needles plying the darkened alleys of the spy
world, the story of biological warfare is long and far from over.
What can you do about it? Be warned and be prepared.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE (ISSN 2331-8937)


Volume 3, Number 7 is published 9 times a year
January, February, April/May, June, July, August, September,
November, December, Engaged Media by Beckett, 22840
Savi Ranch Pkwy., Suite 200, Yorba Linda, CA 92887. POSTMASTER: send address changes to American Survival Guide
c/o Engaged Media by Beckett, 4635 McEwen Road, Dallas,
TX 75244. 2014 by Engaged Media by Beckett. All rights
reserved. Reproduction of any material from this issue in
whole or in part is strictly prohibited. GST #855050365RT001
Canada Post: Publications Mail Agreement #40612608.
Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to: PITNEY
BOWES, INC. P.O. Box 25542 London, ON N6C 6B2.

CUSTOMER SERVICE
ENGAGED MEDIA BY BECKETT
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This magazine is purchased by the buyer with the
understanding that information presented is from
various sources from which there can be no warranty or
responsibility by Engaged Media by Beckett as to the legality,
completeness or technical accuracy.

ASG_1412_7 9/29/14 1:21 AM Page 7

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ASG_1412_PRODUCTS 10/1/14 3:02 AM Page 8

NEWPRODUCTS

C U T T I N G - E D G E I N N OVAT I O N

1. KATADYN POCKET

2. HOME SECURITY

3. KEEPING WARM

Product: Katadyn Pocket


Manufacturer: Katadyn
Contact: Katadyn.com
MSRP: $282.81

Product: Canary
Manufacturer: Canary
Contact: Canary.is
MSRP: $249

Product: Lithium Ion Soft Shell Heated Jacket


Manufacturer: DeWalt
Contact: Dewalt.com
MSRP: $209

Filtering water in an off-grid situation (or


merely camping) is paramount to your survival.
There are a lot of filtration systems on the market, but few have the longevity, speed, and
capacity as does the Katadyn Pocket, a compact, lightweight filter. It is made of heavy-duty
materials and is suited for continuous use. The
silver impregnated ceramic element is effective
against bacteria and protozoa. It has a 20-year
warranty and comes with a prefilter, bottle clip,
and carry bag.

The Canary home security system is a standalone device that keeps your home and family
safe. It employs an HD video camera, multiple
sensors that track everything from motion, temperature, and air quality to vibration (in case of
an earthquake), sound (e.g. breaking glass) and
your daily movements. Controlled via your
iPhone or Android, it will alert you when it feels,
sees, or hears anything out of the ordinary. A
sudden temperature change can suggest a fire,
while unusual sounds can mean an intruder. It
learns your activities and schedule.

With four heating zones for the upper left and


right chest, mid-back, and collar, the 20and/or 12-volt batteries can provide up to several hours of continuous heat. The jacket has a
durable water- and wind-resistant outer shell,
and the LED controller offers three temperature settings (low, medium, and high). The
jacket even has two USB power ports for charging portable devices. The battery and charger
are not included.

Specifications:
0.2-micron ceramic filter (cleanable)
13,000-gallon capacity
1 quart per minute output
Weight: 20 ounces

Specifications:
HD camera with night vision
Wi-Fi enabled
Live video and sensor data streamed to your
smartphone
Has guided action plans in case of emergencies
Can trigger house alarms silently and remotely
Dimensions: 6 x 3 inches
Comes in black, white, silver

Specifications:
Made from soft polyester material
Sizes: Small to XXXL
Adjustable waistline and sleeve cuffs
Accepts 12- and 20-volt DeWalt batteries
Five pockets (including cell phone pocket)
Optional hooded model available

2
3

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

ASG_1412_PRODUCTS 10/1/14 3:02 AM Page 9

5
6

4. WINGS OF LIFE

5. STAY HYDRATED

6. K2 HYAK PACK

Product: Life Gear Emergency Survival Kit (LG567)


Retailer: Sears
Contact: Sears.com
MSRP: $188.39

Product: CamelBak Linchpin Hydration Pack


Retailer: Tactical Gear
Contact: TacticalGear.com
MSRP: $209.70

Product: K2 Hyak Pack Kit


Retailer: BackCountry
Contact: BackCountry.com/
MSRP: $149.47

This emergency survival kit contains a hygiene


kit, emergency red flasher, respirator mask,
leather working gloves, thermal blanket, signaling whistle, waterproof cash bag, writing
pen and pad, signaling mirror, all-weather poncho, directional compass, multifunctional, and
a first aid kit. The bag itself has ring hooks for
added attachments, a back ventilation system
for cool air flow, sleeve system storage for food
and water, detachable wings, water reservoir
pocket, cell phone and walkie-talkie carrying
case, and see-through pockets for quick access
to items.

The harness, made by Mystery Ranch, is customizable to fit differing torso lengths, while it
can also be adjusted to wear with or without
body armor. The narrow profile fits between
the shoulder blades and allows for a wide
range of motion and is thin enough to fit in
tight spaces. The reservoir tank can hold 100
ounces of liquid (3 liters) and it includes an
auto shut-off valve for quicker filling.

This kit is designed for backcountry skiers and


snowboarders who need to travel light but
require reliable avalanche safety equipment. In
the pack, the kit includes a 230cm avalanche
probe and a light snow shovel. The pack has
tool-specific pockets and can accommodate
skis or a snowboard. The padded shoulder
straps are comfortable, while the additional
straps can be used for heavier loads.

Specifications:
Large fill port with quarter-turn open/close
External side pockets to carry three M16 magazines each
Radio equipment compatible with two lash
points and dual antennae ports
Lightweight, durable 500D Cordura fabric
Dimensions: 19 x 18 x 14 inches
Weight: 3.3 pounds
Total capacity: 1,984 cubic inches

Specifications:
Internal insulated hydration sleeve
Fleece-lined goggle pocket
Avalanche probe is made of lightweight carbon (has centimeter scale).
The shovel has an extendable shaft and can
be used as a deadman anchor.

Specifications:
Grab-and-go pack can be stored anywhere
Weighs 8.6 pounds
Dimensions: 5.5 x 14 x 19.5 inches
Equipment enough for three days
Recommended by the American Red Cross
and FEMA

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

ASG_1412_PRODUCTS 10/1/14 3:02 AM Page 10

NEWPRODUCTS

C U T T I N G - E D G E I N N OVAT I O N

7. WATER CARRIER MSR


DROMEDARY BAGS

8. TACTICAL TOURNIQUET

9. SURGICAL KIT

Product: Tac Med Solutions - SOF Tactical

Product: MSR Dromedary Bags


Retailer: BackCountry Gear
Contact: BackCountryGear.com
MSRP: $29.95

Tourniquet
Retailer: 1110 Gear
Contact: 1110gear.com
MSRP: $29

Product: 5ive Star Gear surgical kit


Retailer: AO Tactical Gear
Contact: AOTacticalGear.com
MSRP: $24.95

Expandable, collapsible MSR Dromedary Bags


let you carry 2, 4, 6 or 10 liters worth of water,
but without the bulk of bottles. They have
threaded openings that attach directly to the
bottom of any MSR WaterWorks or MiniWorks
filter. The three-in-one caps let you drink, pour,
or fill with ease. Made with durable, abrasionresistant, laminated nylon and food-grade
polyurethane, these water carriers are tougher
than typical vinyl products and flexible even in
freezing conditions.
Specifications:
Made with food-grade polyurethane
Can be used in extreme temperatures (freezing to boiling)
Multiple grommets for easy hanging or carrying
Weight: 5.4 ounces

Extensive research went into the development


of a more effective and easier to use tactical
tourniquet. The SOF Tactical Tourniquet-Wide
uses high-strength, lightweight alloy components to ensuring reliability in a variety of circumstances and on the largest of limbs. The
high-strength hook-and-loop straps are
designed for security, strength, and ease of
application. The 1 -inch tourniquet strap provides a wider compression area that allows for
additional arterial compression and more comfort for the patient. The tourniquet handle is
machined from a single piece of high-strength
aluminum bar stock.
Specifications:
1 -inch tourniquet strap
Quick-connect, snap-lock buckle design
Lightweight alloy components
Single-application method, regardless of
location.
Small size for easier storage

7
8
10

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

When accidents happen and youre miles from


the nearest medical aid, sometimes youll have
to take things into your own hands. This surgical
tool kit contains all the stainless steel instruments you will need to perform a variety of
emergency medical procedures. Comes complete
with: Two straight hemostats, one pair of scissors, one curved hemostat, one pair of tweezers,
one scalpel handle, one suture set, two scalpel
blades, one holder, one needle probe, two alcohol wipes, one pen light, and two antiseptic
wipes. The tools do not arrive sterile.
Specifications:
Made from stainless steel
Weight: 0.7 pounds
Tools come sealed in a plastic pouch.

ASG_1412_PRODUCTS 10/1/14 3:02 AM Page 11

11
10

10. CAR SURVIVAL KIT


Product: Family Road Guardian
Retailer: Survival Gear USA
Contact: Survival-Gear-USA.com
MSRP: $199.90

This Family Road Guardian is an auto survival


kit, blizzard survival kit, and a 72-hour survival
kit all in one. It is geared for road trips and long
distance drives, providing food, enough to feed
a family of four for one day, and gear for a variety of survival situations. It is packaged securely
in a red duffle bag with wheels and extra room
for some personal items. It is a good way to be
prepared in case you become stranded due to
an accident or other natural disasters.
Specifications:
Food has a five-year shelf life
Emergency light sources: candles, light stick,
radio/flashlight
Shelter and Warmth: survival blankets, poncho fleece blanket, tube tent
Tools: paracord, knife, goggles, sewing kit,
gloves, tow rope
Hygiene/First Aid: waste bag, tissues, hygiene
kit, first-aid kit
Also includes a deck of cards and a notepad
and pencil

12

11. WALLET SURVIVAL


CARD
Product: Survival Card Multi-tool
Manufacturer: UST
Contact: USTBrands.com
MSRP: $6.99

This is a compact and easy to carry plastic card


that puts 13 tools into the space of a credit card
(nearly). It includes: Attachment loop, mini
Phillips head screwdriver, small flat-head
screwdriver, magnifying glass, eight-sided
wrench, position wrench (4 sizes), butterfly
wrench, large flat-head screwdriver, bottle
opener, file edge, knife edge, can opener, 2-inch
ruler, and mini compass.
Specifications:
0.08-inch thick stainless steel blade/tools in
ABS housing
Dimensions: 3.3 x 2.2 x 0.4 inches
Weight: 1.6 ounces

12. ETON POWER


Product: Eton FRX3
Manufacturer: Eton Corp.
Contact: EtonCorp.com
MSRP: $69.99

This all-purpose, rechargeable weather alert


radio with solar panel and hand-crank power
generator will keep you in the know, on alert,
and well connected. When the Alert function
is on, the radio will automatically broadcast
emergency weather alerts for your area such as
hurricanes, tornadoes and severe storms. Stay
up to date with its AM/FM/NOAA weather band
digital radio with display and alarm clock. Also,
theres an AUX-input to play your own music.
Cranking the handle for a minute will provide
enough power for 15-20 minutes of music.
Specifications:
Dimensions: 6.9 x 5.8 x 2.6 inches
Weight: 1.4 pounds
Powers by solar panel, hand crank, rechargeable battery
LED flashlight

CAN'T GET ENOUGH ASG ? WHEN YOU'RE NOT OFF THE GRID, BE SURE TO FIND US ON FACEBOOK.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

11

ASG_1412_NEWS 10/1/14 3:05 AM Page 12

CAN YOU NAME the top billion-dollar weather


disasters in the U.S. since 1980? AccuWeather can:
> Hurricane Katrina, 2005: $149 billion
> Superstorm Sandy, 2012: $66 billion
> Hurricane Andrew, 1992: $45 billion
> Drought/Heatwave, 1988: $34 billion
> Midwest Flooding, 1993: $34 billion

DECEMBER 2014

AccuWeather has aligned with others, such the


National Weather Service, to spearhead the WeatherReady Nation project, which according to the National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is about
building community resilience in the face of
increasing vulnerability to extreme weather and water
events. The goal is to help the public, first
responders, emergency managers, and others be able
to make quick, live-saving decisions. The AccuWeather
app will give you minute weather updates wherever
you are (even right there on your own street).
Information translates into money and lives.

12

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

STUDENTS CAN WIN


SCHOLARSHIP FOR
HURRICANE PREP
THIS CALL TO ACTION goes out to all high school
and college students. Express Glass Repair and
Board Up Services is holding an essay contest and
scholarship on the topic of hurricane preparedness.
Three topics are the focus: What are some ways
that governments and nonprofits can pre-educate
and encourage residents to be more prepared? What
are the steps one would recommend for a Florida
family seeking to prepare against hurricanes? Does
the essay writer think the government should allow
more (or less) building in flood-prone areas? Express
Glass Repair and Board Up Service is located in
Florida, but the contest is open to students
anywhere in the U.S. The deadline is December 31,
2014. Details and rules can be found at
www.expressglassfl.com/hurricane-preparednessessay-contest/

PHOTOS BY THINKSTOCK

Worst Billion-Dollar
Weather Disasters

ASG_1412_NEWS 10/1/14 3:05 AM Page 13

Cell Phone Tower Or


Surveillance Device?
THEYRE CALLED INTERCEPTOR TOWERSsurveillance
devices that look like cell phone towers and are designed to
intercept voice and data from any cell user in the area,
according to Popular Science. But who exactly owns them?
No one knows. Or more correctly, no one is saying. There
have been rumors of law-enforcement agencies behind ones
in Florida, Arizona, and California. And the U.S. Customs and
Immigration uses the ones at the U.S.-Mexico border. The
finger has been pointed at the military, too.
According to Popular Science, 43 different state and local
law enforcement agencies in 18 states have surveillance
technology. Meanwhile, the American Civil Liberties Union
and the Electronic Frontier Foundation view the interceptors
as an unlawful search, since theres no warrant. One thing
everyone speculating can agree upon is that no one can say
with authority that its not spies or criminals behind the
towers. Unleash the conspiracy theories! (Like the one about
how theyre being used for mind control.)

Hazmat Suits In
High Demand For
Ebola Prevention

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

DECEMBER 2014

A GLOBAL MANUFACTURER of
specialty protective gear, including
that worn by healthcare workers and
first responders on local, state, and
federal levels, has stepping up its
manufacturing capacity due to
increasing demand for hazmat suits for
the Ebola virus.
Christopher J. Ryan, president and
CEO of Lakeland Industries,
acknowledged reports of a shortage of
hazmat suits, but noted, We
understand the difficulty of getting
appropriate products through a
procurement system that in times of
crisis favors availability over
specification, and we hope our added
capacity will help alleviate that
problem. The U.S. State Department
put out a bid for 160,000 suits.

13

ASG_1412_NEWS 10/1/14 3:05 AM Page 14

Can Social
Media Identify
Health Risks?
THERES A NEW SOCIAL MEDIA
surveillance tool that could give public
health officials insight into things like
a health-related epidemic or
threatening situation (say, terrorism).
The ChatterGrabber software was
created by researchers via the Virginia
Tech Bioinformatics Institute, and so
far the platform has been tested within
an app called EpiDash for monitoring
norovirus outbreaks. It works by
screening social networks for
statements of interest, like in that case
related to gastric illness. Being able to
stay current with the public as it
Tweets or posts about issues could
become a useful early-warning system
for officials.

Earthquake
Sign Of Shame

DECEMBER 2014

Multi-tool Just For Kids

14

YOUR EMERGENCY kit/backpack likely has a


multi-tool. Now your childs can too, and its an
industry firstthe Leatherman Leap is a multitool designed specifically for children. A bonus is
that it allows parents to essentially grow the tool
with the child; it can be used without a knife
blade, which can be added when the parents
deem its age-appropriate. The other tools are
pretty much what youd find in the adult version,
including pliers, a ruler, wire cutters, tweezers,
and a bottle opener. Built in safety locks make
sure fingers and tools dont run into one another.
Learn more at Leap.Leatherman.com.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

SAN FRANCISCO is trying out a new


way to make building ownersmostly
of apartments and hotelscomply
with earthquake-retrofitting. Big signs
will be posted that read Earthquake
warning! making their violation of the
building code public knowledge.
Owners were told a year ago to look
into retrofitting. Its not intended to
create panic; its intended to notify
tenants and also to let landlords know
that there are real consequences to
non-compliance, Patrick Otellini, San
Franciscos director of earthquake
safety, said of the warning placards,
according to Reuters.

ASG_1412_15 9/29/14 1:23 AM Page 15

ASG_1412_KIRAVAN 10/1/14 3:13 AM Page 16

A Little Girls Dream:

The KiraVan
AN UBER-TECHY MILLION-DOLLAR ADVENTURE TRUCK
Story by Ryan Lee Price

16

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

ASG_1412_KIRAVAN 10/1/14 3:13 AM Page 17

aving a daughter late in life produces a unique set of problems,


especially when youve spent the majority of your 60-plus years on
this planet striving to better the world through education and
invention. For most of his life, Bran Ferren had been travelling the
world, building unique contraptions, and solving complicated technical problems for everyone from Walt Disney to Uncle Sam ... and making millions upon millions of dollars doing it. Four years ago, life threw him a curve
when Brans partner of 25 years approached him with a different problem: The
time to have children, she announced, was now.

The massive offroad KiraVan has


been developed
to traverse any
number of different terrains,
from swampy
bogs to 3-feet of
standing water.

DECEMBER 2014

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

17

ASG_1412_KIRAVAN 10/1/14 3:13 AM Page 18

A Little Girls Dream:

The KiraVan

[ABOVE] A host of antennae and communication devices are stored on the


roof and can easily be deployed at a moments notice from within the cab.

DECEMBER 2014

[TOP] The KiraVan is able to travel up to 2,000 miles without refueling


and navigate slopes as steep as 45 degrees. It holds enough supplies to
last a family of four for three weeks.

18

[OPPOSITE] The completely custom-made cockpit would be easily at home


on a supersonic jet as it is in an off-road vehicle.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

In 2009, Kira was born, and thus Brans


latest focus: fatherhood. He had spent a
great deal of effort building the client list of
his latest company, Applied Minds, a super
high-tech design firm, so now he had the
time to devote to his newest client, his
daughter. Since he understood readily that
he wont be available for most of Kiras life,
he has redirected his energies to her education and future well-being (even so far as to
record interviews with himself so that Kira
can benefit from his knowledge years from
now). Ive loved watching my daughter
learn about life, he says. Theres a big
world out there, and Ive seen only a portion
of it. The latest project, started just about
the time Kira was born and completed just
this year is the ultimate adventure truck,
designed and built for the main purpose of
taking Kira nearly anywhere on earth without limitations or a compromise in comfort.
He calls it the KiraVan.
As questions mounted in the design
phasewhat materials to make it out of,
what facilities should it havewhat facilities could it have?Bran traveled the globe
in search of experts to answer them. He

ASG_1412_KIRAVAN 10/1/14 3:13 AM Page 19

spoke with mining experts, oil drillers, and


arctic explorers about their equipment,
needs, and desires for changes in new
equipment. How does an off-road vehicle
function over different terrain? How would
a high-tech computer system work in subzero temperatures?
After four years of design, testing, building, rebuilding, and more testing, the KiraVan
was unveiled earlier this year. What resulted
was the most elaborate off-road vehicle
ever created, capable of traversing most any
terrain with its six Kevlar-coated tires and
surmount grades as steep as 45 degrees. It
has remarkable endurance, not needing
refueling for nearly 2,000 miles at a time,
despite its 51,000-pound girth.
Following behind the enormous cab is
KiraVans massive trailer, which is 31 feet
long and more than 10 feet high. It is home
to an ecofriendly bathroom, a customdesigned kitchen complete with an espresso
machine, and Kiras own penthouse loft
which she helped design. Since Bran isnt
saddled with the usual limitations that normal people havetime, manpower, and

moneyno expense was spared in the KiraVans construction. Bran had access to some
of the worlds best engineers.
The main truck is adapted from a Mercedes Unimog, similar to the MaxiMog he
designed several years ago, but again, the
only thing that was left is the chassis and
steering wheel. The rest was scrapped. The
Mercedes chassis was lengthened and
doubled in thickness to handle the bulk
and weight.
Behind the wheel, the operator sits in luxurious comfort on vibration-cancelling
leather chairs designed by Bose. The passenger can control a number of drones that
can be dispatched to check traffic conditions or to investigate the road ahead. Also
controlled from the dash are the trucks
seven masts that telescope up to 60 feet,
taking with them cameras, weather equipment, lights, and communication antennas.
Touch-screen cockpit displays monitor
the vitals of the tire pressure of the six tires
and battery lifeas well as the navigation
dutiesline the roof and dash. The situational-awareness system consists of a joy-

IT HAS
REMARKABLE
ENDURANCE,
NOT NEEDING
REFUELING FOR
NEARLY 2,000
MILES AT A
TIME, DESPITE
ITS 51,000POUND GIRTH.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

19

ASG_1412_KIRAVAN 10/1/14 3:13 AM Page 20

[TOP]
Inside the main trailer
is a small galley and
plenty of storage.
[LEFT] A view from
the dining area shows
Kiras own loft that
she helped design.
[BOTTOM]
The upstairs dining
area comfortably
seats a family of four.

A Little Girls Dream:

DECEMBER 2014

The KiraVan

20

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

ASG_1412_21 9/29/14 1:24 AM Page 21

ASG_1412_KIRAVAN 10/1/14 3:13 AM Page 22

A Little Girls Dream:

The KiraVan

[ABOVE]
The nerve-center of
the KiraVans trailer is
an impressive bank of
computers used to
communicate with the
outside world, as well
as monitor the local
surroundings and the
vehicles welfare.

DECEMBER 2014

stick-operated control base connected to the


KiraVans 22 cameras, including infrared thermal imagery. Onboard is every conceivable
method of communication from off-theshelf walkie-talkies and UHF-band radios to
super-accurate GPS systems and email.

22

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

Currently, the KiraVan is completely torn


apart, awaiting upgrades of some of its systems and some general reconfiguring of others. Bran is in no hurry to complete the project, as his main client wont be able to drive
for another 12 years.

ASG_1412_23 9/29/14 1:25 AM Page 23

ASG_1412_DONNER 10/1/14 3:29 AM Page 24

Stories of Survival:

The Donner Party


A JOURNEY INTO THE GREATEST TRAGEDY IN THE HISTORY OF WESTERN MIGRATION
Story by Bryan Dumas

James and Margret Reed

he saloon was eerily still.


All eyes were on the sixfoot-tall shell of man who
stared off into the musky
din with steely blue eyes.
The question lingered in the air like
the pipe smoke swirling from the
mouths of the men standing around
him: Did you really eat people?
Finally, after moments of painful
silence, Lewis Keseberg turned,
flashed a smile that chilled the bones
of the men in the room, and said,
Human liver is the sweetest thing
Ive ever eaten.
Lewis Keseberg was the last person retrieved from the snowbound
hell that befell the Donner Party in
1846-47. Though he wasnt the only
member of the ill-fated group to
resort to cannibalism, despite claims
that it never happened, he was the

DECEMBER 2014

24

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

only one tried for murder. While


Keseberg wears the anointed crown
of evil personified in the Donner
Party tragedy, he lays out reasons
why the balance of justice might just
sway back in his favor: I have been
born under an evil star! Fate, misfortune, bad luck, compelled me to
remain at Donner Lake. If God
would decree that I should again
pass through such an ordeal, I could
not do otherwise than I did.
The story of the Donner Party is
one of sheer survival and the determination of man to live. But it is also
the story of how to survive and how
to prevent yourself from ever having
to face the darkest moments in life.
Kesebergs fate was cast the day he
joined with the Reed family and the
Donner brothers on their journey to
California.

MY FATHER, WITH TEARS IN


HIS EYES, TRIED TO SMILE AS
ONE FRIEND AFTER ANOTHER
GRASPED HIS HAND IN A LAST
FAREWELL. MAMA WAS OVERCOME WITH GRIEF. AT LAST WE
WERE ALL IN THE WAGONS.
THE DRIVERS CRACKED THEIR
WHIPS. THE OXEN MOVED
SLOWLY FORWARD AND THE
LONG JOURNEY HAD BEGUN.
VIRGINIA REED, DAUGHTER OF JAMES REED

ASG_1412_DONNER 10/1/14 3:29 AM Page 25

and the Donner/Reed group wisely


decided to leave quickly to catch up.
This would be the last good decision
that the Donner Party made.
Life on the trail was full of hardships. Swollen rivers, floods, disease,
and boredom. Routine became the
most common way to cope with
these. Women did the cooking and
cleaning. Men tended the animals,
hunted, and repaired the wagons

The cut trees


show the snow
level from the
previous winter.

Truckee Lake, 1860s

Truckee Pass, 1870s

mostly broken axles. Children, too,


found chores to pass their time.
Theyd fetch the water, clean dishes,
and find firewood. The mundane
helped alleviate the fears of the
unknown.
Not all of the unknown hardships
turned out bad.
The first Indians we met were
the Caws, wrote Virginia Reed in
her diary, Who kept the ferry, and
had to take us over the Caw River. I
watched them closely, hardly daring
to draw my breath, and feeling sure
they would sink the boat in the middle of the stream, and was very

thankful when I found they were not


like grandmas Indians. Aside from
stealing horses, the Indians were a
mild nuisance (most travellers on the
Oregon Trail who were killed by
Indians were done so west of the
Parting Of Ways).
At Fort Laramie, he happened to
come across James Clyman, an
acquaintance from his Black Hawk
War day. They spoke about the best
trail west. Clyman was working his
way east and had just come across
the infamous Hastings Cutoff. He
warned Reed against taking the trail,
calling it impassable and said it was

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

DECEMBER 2014

Travelling out of Springfield, Ill.


with the Reed family were the brothers George and Jacob Donner and
their kin. All three families had
packed their wagons according to a
guidebook published by Lansford
Hastings, a man whod never made
the trip himself. Necessities
included: One wagon loaded with
bolts of cotton and flannel, glass,
beads, mirrors, and other trinkets to
trade with the Indians; expensive
items like textiles, silks and satins to
trade with the Californios upon
arrival; farm equipment, furniture,
and household goods. A second
wagon was loaded with items needed
for the trail. A third wagon was set
aside as a shelter and dining cart.
It is surprising that George Donner or James Reed would have bothered with the suggestions put forth
in the Hastings guide. Donner was
well accustomed to moving. As the
frontier pushed west, he had travelled with it from North Carolina
with his parents, then on his own
from Kentucky to Indiana to Illinois.
He also spent time in Texas and had
a familiarity working with oxen
teams. He would have understood
the most basic tenant of backwoods
travel: Take what is necessary; leave
the rest behind.
Reed served in the Black Hawk
War and worked at one time or
another as a merchant, railroad contractor, and furniture maker. People
spoke of him as a man who was
quick with decisions and decisive
in action.
Unfortunately for those travelling
with Reed, he was also a self-made
man and not one to play things safe.
He didnt come from a fatherless
home to be one of Illinois more successful men by avoiding risks.
Theyd left late from Springfield
and had taken longerdue to their
overburdened cartsthan expected
to reach Independence, Missouri.
Though nothing in their journals
indicates alarm, their arrival in midMay was already weeks behind the
accepted departure date for crosscontinent travel. A late group was
waiting in Kansas for any stragglers,

25

ASG_1412_DONNER 10/1/14 3:29 AM Page 26

DECEMBER 2014

The Donner Party

26

the most desolate country perhaps


on the whole globe. He looked at
Reed and implored that Reed take
the regular wagon track, and never
leave it.
Reed wanted nothing to do with
what he considered a roundabout
course if he could take a straight
route to California and beat as many
emigrants as possible. For Reed, he
had one goal: Get to California and
get land. To do that he was going to
go straight. He placed his trust in
Lansford Hastings who was, himself,
leading his first group across the
shortcut named for him just to try to
prove its worth.
When the group reached Fort
Bridger they had hoped to meet up
with Hastings. However, hed
already left to lead a group across his
trail. Having trusted their fate to
what was becoming a remarkably
unreliable man, it would have made
sense for the Donner group to abandon their shortcut and swing north
to catch the official trail to California.
Before them lay a blank world.
Unlike the trails theyd traveled, this
new cutoff had never been crossed
and lacked the normal markings of
the overland trails: Used campsites,
river crossings, and, most importantly, wagon ruts to follow.
But Reed and Donner pressed on
even against the wishes of George
Donners wife. The men were
quickly initiated into the hard life of
mountain men. Their travel slowed
to a crawl, as they tried to scout and
blaze a trail across the Wasatch
Mountains. They were forced to cut
roads into the mountain, clear dense
brush, and pull their exhausted oxen
over the summit. What should have
taken a week turned into nearly a
month. They still had nearly 80 miles
of alkali flats to trek.
It was here that the Donner Party
was beginning to fracture. It became
an every-man-for-themselves situation, where families, trying to avoid
dehydration, would unhitch their
animals, rush them ahead to any
source of fresh water, return to haul
their wagons a few miles, and then
repeat. It was a disorganized panic.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

Animals were lost, wagons abandoned and tempers began to simmer. The fateful decision to use the
shortcut had cost them two months
before they reached the regular trail
into California (near Elko, Nevad).
Instead of rallying behind a
strong leader, the party plummeted
into a death spiral of animosity and
divisiveness long before they
reached Truckee Lake on November
1, 1846. James Reed and John Snyder
got into a heated argument over tangled cattle and when all was said
and done, Snyder was dead and
Reed banished from the party. Keseberg abandoned an old man named
Hardcoop who was having trouble
keeping up, and the rest of the party
refused to help the man. Two members of the team murdered a third
while helping him cache his suppliesan apparent attempt to steal
his supplies.

On October 12, the Piute Indians


attacked and killed 21 oxen. Then it
snowed and it didnt stop. They
were stranded, and it all appeared
hopeless. By Truckee Lake, they discovered three dilapidated cabins and
settled in to wait out the storm.
Once in their snowbound prison,
the Donner Party collapsed into a
desperate greed of survival. Contrary to most group survival
instincts where a shared calamity
draws people together to survive,
the members of the Donner party
split apart and eventually established a string of camps of tents
made from hides and ramshackle
cabins nearly eight miles long from
Truckee Lake (now Donner Lake)
through Alder Creek. Families
horded their scarce supplies and
quickly exhausted their food supply.
The pack animals were the first to
be sacrificed for survival followed by
the dogs and finally they resorted to
boiling blankets and hides to make a
paste-like soup. Families refused to
share supplies with others in dire
need or sometimes demanded
ridiculous payments.
Faced with certain death, 15
members of the Donner Party
formed what Virginia Reed called
the Forlorn Hope and on homemade snowshoes set out for Sutters
Fort in Sacramento. Four of the men
left behind their families and three
of the women left behind their children. In blinding snow, freezing
nights, with no sense of direction,
and no food, the group broached the
idea of cannibalism. There was talk
of having two people duel and the
loser would become dinner for the
rest. Ultimately, they decided to let
the hand of death dictate who would
feed the rest. The first to go was a

ASG_1412_DONNER 10/1/14 3:29 AM Page 27

bachelor named Antoine; while


asleep, his arm fell in a fire and no
one in the group woke him. In all,
seven members of Forlorn Hope
were eaten; two Indians that had
come up from Sutters Fort to aid the
Donner Party were hunted down
and killed. Only seven members of
the Forlorn Hope group reached
Sacramento.
On February 19th the first rescue
party arrived. It would take four
such groups and two and a half
months before everyone was rescued. When the second relief group,
led by Reed, reached Alder Creek,
evidence of cannibalism was everywhere in what would become
known as the Starved Camp.
Imagine the difficult decisions that
faced mothers as they looked at
their starving children. It is most
likely that many of the children ate
the dead, but had no idea what it
was that they were eating.

Donner Party monument. The 22-feet high


base represents how deep the snow was.

When the last relief group arrived


at Alder Creek, they found Keseberg
as the sole survivor wallowing in
indescribable filth and the desecrated corpses of at least five people.
George Donners head had been
cleaved in order to retrieve his brain.
Two kettles were filled with blood,
livers and lungs.

Faced with unimaginable hardships the Donner Party resorted to


the only thing they could in order to
survive. Keseberg summarizes it best
when he said, A man, before he
judges me, should be placed in a
similar situation; but if he were, it is
a thousand to one he would perish.
Looking at those that survived and
those who didnt a pattern emerges:
Those families who stuck together
often through selfish meanssurvived while the bachelorslike
Hardkoop and Antoinewere
quickly discarded or dispatched.
Certain social expectations, like
kinship and family ties, will bind
groups together no matter the circumstance. The Donner Party, from
their trials in the Wasatch, to the
drive across the Great Salt Lake, to
their harrowing experience in the
Sierras show that in dire times people will cope with hardships from
our most basic nature: survive.

ASG_1412_SAFECITY-CX 10/6/14 12:32 AM Page 28

Circumventing
Catastrophe
HOW TO AVOID DISASTER IN THE
SAFEST CITY IN AMERICA
Story by Larry Schwartz
ug out, bug in, shelter in place, backwoods refuge,
disaster retreat. These are terms that are familiar to
those in the preparedness community, and they are
all based on location. A big part of the survival industry focuses its effort on escaping disaster, on removing oneself
from the epicenter of the problembe it an earthquake, blizzard, flood, or terrorist attackand relocating to somewhere
safer. The concept is sound, but this begs the question, What
is the best place to start from to avoid disaster in the first
place? We all want to live somewhere that will provide a rich
environment to prosper, low crime rates, stable utility infrastructure, and little or no danger of natural disasters. It can be
a challenging search, but not an impossible one.

ASG_1412_SAFECITY 10/1/14 3:32 AM Page 29

WHAT ARE THE CRITERIA?


Regardless of where you live, the infrastructure for electrical power and the other
utilities that depend on it will be equally
fragile in terms of failing if the right combination of events occurs, so it is more of a constant in our analysis than a variable. Crime
rate and economic stability are too variable to
be of use in looking for a city, so we can use
them as final discriminators in our decision.
The main thing we can look for is those cities
or regions that have the lowest risk of natural
disasters happening there.

EARTHQUAKES
Many areas of the country are known for
one or more types of natural disasters. Along
the West Coast is well known for earthquake
activity for a hundred miles inland, such as
the 1994 Northridge earthquake that
destroyed bridges, brought down buildings,
and left tens of thousands of people homeless
or without utilities in and around Los Angeles.
Any of the states and areas between the
Continental Divide and the Pacific Ocean are
susceptible to severe earthquakes with the
states just east of the divide is susceptible to
more moderate shocks, as the largest
earthquake ever recorded in U.S. history
happened in Missouri. As illustrated in the
natural disaster threat graphic, there is
another major fault line runs parallel to the
Mississippi River, with its own risk of

earthquakes, although of lesser magnitude


than those found along the West Coast.

HURRICANES
The Gulf Coast and the Eastern seaboard
experience hurricanes every year, some of
which are truly disastrous, such as Hurricane
Katrina when she inundated New Orleans in
August of 2005 and Hurricane Sandy that collapsed the power infrastructure from Virginia up through New York in October of
2012. While earthquakes can happen any
time during the year, the season for hurricanes runs for six months, starting in June
and lasting through November.

TORNADOES
The South Central portion of the country,
to include Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas,
Nebraska, South Dakota, Iowa, and Minnesota is aptly called Tornado Alley for the
high number of tornados that raze towns and
farmsteads every year. Tornado season actually varies by region, but begins in the late
winter and extends into mid summer.

SAFER IS OFTEN ALSO CHEAPER


Although it sounds counter-intuitive, the
safer regions and cities in the country, those
with the lowest risk of a natural disaster are
also often cheaper to live in from the perspective of cost of living and dollars per
square foot of living space in your home. The

Follow
The Data
This Natural Disaster Map
is from data center
provider DataFoundry. It,
like many other companies
that provide data center or
disaster recovery services
to corporate America,
prefers the desert Southwest for the regions freedom from natural disasters and moderate temperatures. This area provides
an ideal environment for
its business of safeguarding Americas data from
loss and harm due to natural disasters that elsewhere would destroy
buildings, cause power
outages that last days or
weeks, and generally make
it difficult to transact business as usual.
So, if you want a safe
and stable place to live,
look to where the data
centers are setting up, and
then call a realtor.

DECEMBER 2014

DATAFOUNDRY.COM.

Natural disasters,
as shown in this
graphic from
DataFoundry.com,
illustrates that
most regions of
the U.S. are
susceptible to
some form of
natural disaster
with the lowest
risk areas being in
the desert South
West or around
Ohio and the eastern Great Lakes.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

29

ASG_1412_SAFECITY-CX 10/6/14 12:32 AM Page 30

Circumventing
Catastrophe

Its Cheaper Where Its Safer


For many of the cities with a lower risk of natural disasters, the price per square foot
for homes is much lower than the national average, which according to the U.S. Census Bureau is $106 per square foot for a single-family home.
Top 10 Housing Markets at Lower Risk of Natural Disasters
#

U.S. metropolitan area

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10

Syracuse, NY
Cleveland, OH
Akron, OH
Buffalo, NY
Bethesda-Rockville-Frederick, MD
Dayton, OH
Allentown, PA-NJ
Chicago, IL
Denver, CO
Warren-Troy-Farmington Hills, MI

Asking home price per square foot


$89
$80
$81
$93
$174
$72
$109
$113
$129
$94

DECEMBER 2014
30

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

most densely populated regions are located


around topography that supports commerce
in some way or another. That means they are
along the coast or major rivers where ports
are located. Or, they are in areas that support
manufacturing or agriculture.
Unfortunately, that means that they are
likely in the zones where the risk of earthquake or tornado or hurricane are much
higher, as shown on the U.S. Natural Disaster map on the previous page. Research by
real estate analysis company Trulia and by
the U.S. Census Bureau, shows that homes in
the safer areas often have a lower cost per
square foot than the national average, and
much lower than those in the more urban
areas common in the higher risk regions of
the country.

So, now that we know the events we want


to avoid and where they are most commonly
found, how do we decide where our safest
city is? Many newspapers, blogs, and websites have done this analysis for us, but they
each had their own take on what the criteria
should be so it may not match what you are
looking for. They also narrowed their search
down to major metropolitan areas, which
may also not be part of your criteria.
The best way to pick your safest city is
going to be to pick your safest region first
and then pick a city you like in that region.
You want to avoid area that run the risk of
hurricanes or tornadoes, any areas near
active (in geological time) fault lines, areas
with active volcanoes (forget about Hawaii
and Mt. St. Helens). By looking at the U.S.
Natural Disaster Map, provided by data center provider DataFoundry.com, we can easily
see that we want to stay away from any of the
coastal areas, the central plains, and the area
between the Appalachian Mountains and the
Mississippi River.
That leaves us with two main areas, which
also have some of the cities mentioned
above; the desert Southwest and the area
East and South of the Great Lakes in Ohio
and upper New York state. Cities like Austin,
Texas, Buffalo, N.Y., or Grand Junction,
Colo., have a very low risk of natural disasters occurring, they have established utility
infrastructures which support relatively
smaller populations than those in the more
urban areas so the risk of them failing under
stress is lower, and, in general, their crime
rate is lower.

PHOTOS BY THINKSTOCK

HOW DO WE MAKE OUR DECISION?

TABLE COURTESY OF TRULIA.

Hurricanes, in addition
to creating property
damage and power outages, are a major contributor to flooding in
coastal areas, due to the
heavy rain and winds
that they bring.

Earthquakes are Mother Natures heavy hitter.


Although hurricanes and tornadoes can damage buildings and cause power outages, nothing can compare to
raw power that a seismic event brings with it.

ASG_1412_31 9/29/14 1:25 AM Page 31

J
A
N
T
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40

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Contoured and textured handles for Pattern 31.


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PHOTO COURTESY OF TIM RALSTON

ASG_1412_RALSTON-CX 10/6/14 1:20 AM Page 32

PREPPING RALSTON
WITH

BY TIM RALSTON

Timothy Bryan Ralston is an American inventor, veteran, adventurer, author and movie consultant for his expertise in the field of
survival and preparedness education. He is best known for his appearance in the powerful motivational film, The Compass, and
for being the international spokesperson in the launch of NatGeos No. 1-rated program, Doomsday Preppers.

Have A Backup Plan

DECEMBER 2014

Just imagine what it would be like


to have your whole world flipped
upside down ... in an instant. This is
exactly what happens after a disaster. One minute you are caught up in
the everyday stresses of life and in
the next, you are forced to fight for
your survival. These types of devastating events are not as uncommon as
we would like to think. In fact, they
seem to be on the rise, and occurring
in places that are unprepared for such
extreme situations. From violent natural disasters to man-fueled emergencies, there isnt a region on earth not
at risk in some form or another.
While it may be a toss of the dice
whether you will ever have to experience a massive, destructive event, it
is under your control as to how you
would adapt to it. Unless prepared,
the aftermath of any disaster is
insanely chaotic and just plain scary.
Even during short-term incidents,
people will demonstrate animalistic
behavior over the most basic
resources. In other words, when it
boils down to a persons survival
all bets are off.
In order to avoid such a dismal outcome, it is crucial to intertwine preparedness into your everyday
lifestyle. By doing so, regardless of
whether it is the misfortune of losing
your job, or something as catastrophic
as an EMP, you will have a greater
chance of living to tell your tale.

32

plies are carefully selected to coincide


with your familys requirements.
A major thought to consider is
how extensive of a time period it is
that you are looking for your storage
to last. Are you content with surviving a three-day flood, or are you looking to be self-reliant for the next 20
years? Deciding what you are preparing for will better determine the
amount of provisions you need to
stockpile. Be sure to address the most
vital resources such as water, food,
energy, and self-defense.

Hone In On Your
Improvisational Skills

ity to survive without having to rely


on others to fulfil your needs. Instead,
you utilize natural resources and combine them with your own efforts. This
way, if ever a major calamity did
occursuch as the grid going
downyou would avoid experiencing
total duress.
There are certain areas of independence to explore that would help
you achieve this more naturalistic
way of life: The use of natural energies, such as wind and solar; creating
a system of self-sustainable food production with a garden and livestock;
having a constant supply of water
independent of the grid; and mobilization that is free from fossil fuels.

Survive Through
Self-Sustainability

Create Your Own Storage

One way to outlast a disastrous


situation would be to, well not be
affected by it at all. By gravitating to
an off-grid lifestyle, you have the abil-

Another option when preparing


for emergencies is to store all of the
items yourself. This is both an easy
and effective route, as long your sup-

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

There is nothing more empowering


than being able to create something
yourself, especially when it comes to
survival tools. There is no telling what
type of aftermath could be expected. If
it was indeed catastrophic, items such
as bullets (for example) would quickly
become sparse, making hunting and
self-defense more difficult. This is why
being knowledgeable in ways of
resourcefulness, might be just what
keeps you alive.
This form of preparation involves
being able to take simple easy to find
products, and turn them into items of
greater use. I highly recommend partaking in as many DIY projects as
possible for practice. Educate yourself
on how to make a fire, purify your
own drinking water, obtain food,
build shelter, and protect yourself, all
with very basic supplies.
Although all three of these styles
are excellent ways to stand prepared,
in my opinion the most efficient way
to be ready for any disaster is to fuse
their principlezs together.

ASG_1412_RALSTON-CX 10/7/14 1:07 PM Page 33

OUR LATEST

BEAST
IS A REAL

BEAUTY
0620CF

One of the most challenging parts


about preparing is that you never
know exactly where you will be when
a disaster happens. Also, its impossible to formulate your best strategy
without really knowing what it will
be. Even though we may prefer to be
in our homes with our supplies and
sustainable sources, what if it was
deemed unsafe to do so? Theres a
chance that bugging out would be
your only option. In that case, you
would have to rely on minimal provisions, tied with your knowledge and
skills in order to survive.
My overall recommendation is to
always have a back-up plan to the
back-up plan. This way, no matter
what type of curve ball life throws,
you will be prepared to withstand it.
For example, grow your own food,
but also have a storage pile, along
with an ability to improvise a tool for
hunting. Keep enough water stored to
outlast a disaster, but also know how
to locate and filter your own.
By interconnecting these areas of
preparedness, not only will you
achieve self-reliance, but also the
peace of mind knowing you will be
ready for anything.

Steel: M390,
stonewashed
& satin nished

Handle: carbon
ber front,
bead-blasted
titanium back

Frame lock

DIY Project:
PVC Bow
Step 1: Cut a 1-inch diameter Schedule 40

PVC pipe to 54 inches.


Step 2: Heat the PVC pipe with a heat gun

or over an open flame. Be careful not to overheat the pipe to the point that it melts.
Step 3: Once the pipe softens, press down
on both ends with a board. Be sure to distribute the same amount of weight to either side.
Step 4: Next, use a tin can to round the
sides of the pipe to a desired curve. Let bow
sit until cool to touch.
Step 5: Create a handle by heating the
middle of the pipe, pressing tightly to form
an oval shape. Let cool once again.
Step 6: Wrap the handle of the bow with
paracord to make a grip and arrow rest.
Step 7: Lastly, notch the ends of your bow
with a hacksaw, and string it with paracord.
If desired, customize your bow to your liking.
I find that duct tape works well as a wrapping.

This ZT beast is ready almost


before you take it out of your
pocket. Thanks to the patented
Emerson wave shaped feature,
the blade deploys as the knife
is removed from your pocket.
And with its stronger-than-steel
carbon-ber front scale, it looks
good doing it.

ZTKNIVES.COM

ASG_1412_34 9/29/14 1:26 AM Page 34

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20''

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storage and transportation. The simple reassembly of the barrel and action is secure, ensuring an accurate
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(included with rie), the Ruger 10/22 Takedown makes it easy to keep Americas favorite rimre by your side.

RUGER.COM/1022TAKEDOWN

ASG_1412_35 9/29/14 1:27 AM Page 35

2014 Sturm, Ruger & Co., Inc.

050114

ASG_1412_MAP 10/1/14 3:45 AM Page 36

Never Get Lost


HOW TO READ AND ORIENT A TOPOGRAPHICAL MAP
Story and Photography by Ryan Lee Price

[ABOVE] The first thing necessary is to familiarize yourself with the scale of the map.
Though most quadrangle maps made after
World War II are 7.5-minute in size and at a
scale of 1:24,000meaning that one inch on
the map equals 24,000 inches of real-world
landthere might still be some out there in a
different scale.

DECEMBER 2014

[TOP] Reading and orienting a map is a very


important skill to master for anyone who
plans to spend any amount of time in the
backcountry. By coordinating a compass
with a map, youll be able to match the features of the map with features in the real
world, allowing you the ability to navigate
toward any destination on the map.

36

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

ohn Wesley Powell, the


director of the United States
Geological Survey (USGS)
from 1881 to 1894 once
remarked: A government
cannot do any scientific work of
more value to the people at large
than by causing the construction of
proper topographical maps of the
country.
Although he might have been a
little nearsighted when it came to
the value of scientific work outside
the field of cartography (think vaccines and medical research, for
instance), he was correct when considering the publics desirethen
and nowto explore this nations
vast landscape.
Early explorers of this continent
charted the coastline soon after
arriving, but the governments
recognition of the need to create
maps didnt come until the Revolutionary War when on July 22, 1777,

Congress authorized George Washington to appoint Robert Erskine as


official cartographer of the country
and the seat of war.
Over the next 100 years, wars,
skirmishes with Indians and the Civil
War spurred the advancement in
map making and surveying. During
the War of 1812, the first Corps of
Topographical Engineers in the
Army was formed, and between
1803 and the outbreak of the Civil
War, more than 100 mapping expeditions were sent west of the Mississippi with the idea of cataloging
North Americas vast resources.
It wasnt until 1884 that Powell
began a systematic topographic
mapping of the United States. The
original scale was 15-minute, meaning an area covering 1/16 of one
degree of longitude/latitude with a
scale of 1:62,500. In the 1940s,
demand for more detail resulted in
1:24,000-scale, 7.5-minute maps.

ASG_1412_MAP 10/1/14 3:45 AM Page 37

A GOVERNMENT CANNOT DO ANY SCIENTIFIC WORK OF MORE VALUE TO THE PEOPLE AT LARGE THAN
BY CAUSING THE CONSTRUCTION OF PROPER TOPOGRAPHICAL MAPS OF THE COUNTRY.

Magnetic declination is the number of


degrees and direction between true north
and magnetic north. Because declination
varies over time, it is advisable to get a reasonably current figure by using a current
map. If magnetic north is east of true north,
the local declination is positive (like shown
here). If magnetic north is west of true north,
the local declination is negative.

Rotate the compass dial until north on the


compass ring lines up with north on the map.
Find the magnetic declination on your map.
In this case, it 15 degrees positive (east). If
the local declination is positive, subtract the
declination amount from the bearing you
just derived. If the local declination is negative, add the declination amount to the bearing you just derived.

The various colors make reading


a map easy, but theres a skill
required to see a topographical map
as it was intended: real-world terrain. Once mastered, by merely looking at a topo map, youll visualize
the terrain as if you were standing
before it.
To orient your map, place the compass on
the map so it is parallel to the north-to-south
border of the map, known as the neat line.

Contour lines are imaginary; they


are used to represent segments of
the ground that share an equal elevation as well as defining the shape
of the terrains features. They tend
to parallel each other, each approximately the shape of the one above
it and the one below it. However, not
all contour lines are created equal.
Heavier contour lines are known as

indexed contour lines and normally


show elevation in feet. Typically,
every fifth contour line is an index
contour line.
Lighter contour lines that fall
between indexed lines, are known
as intermediate contour lines. These
lines do not have their elevation
listed and are found in sets of four
between indexed contour lines. At
the bottom of the map, under the
scale, the contour interval will be
listed. Normally it is 40 feet, meaning that there is 40 real-world feet
between contour lines and 200 feet
between indexed contour lines.
The closer the spacing of the
contour lines, the more rapid the elevation change of the feature. This is

Various symbols are used to depict features


such as building, campgrounds, springs,
water tanks, mines, survey markers, and
wells. Names of places and features are generally printed in the color corresponding to
the type of feature.
Nature is represented through color and
particular symbols that attempt to represent
whats found in nature. The difference
between a sand beach and a gravel beach,
for example, is the size of the dots representing the grains of sand.
Though there are around 200 symbols
used on the 55,000 topographical maps currently in use by the USGS, these are a representation of the more popular symbols youll
find on most topographical maps.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

DECEMBER 2014

Called a quadrangle, the map contains 7.5 minutes of latitude and longitude (1/32 of one degree). On
these new maps, one inch equals
24,000 inches of real-world land. It
wasnt until 1991 that the USGS
completed mapping the entire lower
48 states in this new scale. The coverage includes more than 55,000
7.5-minute quadrangles.
With the larger scale, the USGS
included almost 200 different features separated into five color
groups. Cultural features, smaller
roads, buildings, and man-made
things such as trails are printed in
black; main roads and political
boundaries are in magenta/red;
woodland areas and other vegetation are green; rivers, lakes, glaciers,
and water features are blue; and
contours lines, depressions, and
mountain features are printed
brown. If you see purple, that
means it is an update from a previous version (though its a color no
longer used by the USGS).

CONTOUR LINES

Holding the map and compass steadily


together (the compass should still be on the
north-to-south map neat line), rotate the
map and compass at the same time until the
red magnetic needle orienting arrow on the
compass face line up. Your map and your
compass are now oriented to true north.
Look around and compare the physical features around you with your map; they should
be an exact match.

37

ASG_1412_MAP 10/1/14 3:45 AM Page 38

Never Get Lost

THE FEATURES ON A
TOPOGRAPHICAL MAP
The examples here are from the
Waterman Mountain and Fontana
quadrangles in Southern California, about 10 miles north of
Pasadena in the Angeles National
Forest and about 40 miles east of
Los Angeles in the San Bernardino
Mountains, respectively. The
mountains north of Los Angeles
offer a wide range of topography
that well illustrates the various
elements of a typical topographical map.
1. Just south of Twin Peaks is a
rather narrow canyon, where the
west fork of the Bear Creek originates. The contour lines here are
close together, signifying steep
terrain on both sides of the
stream. The 6,600 elevation to
1

the right can be used to determine


how deep the canyon is compared
to the highest peak (7,761). Every
index contour line represents a difference of 200 feet, so the stream
is roughly 1,761 feet below the east
Twin Peak. This would not be an
easy climb.
2. The campground to the west of
Bear Creek is on a relatively gentle
east-facing slope. If you were to
leave Lower Bear Campground
and head east, you would climb
up to the crest of a 2,200-foot hill
(with an elevation change of only
280 feet. Heading north will provide a wonderful view of a rocklittered riverbed via a relatively
steep precipice to the north.
Because the contour lines are so
far apart (in the center of this picture), that represents somewhat
level ground.

important when traversing an


unknown region, as a steep hill or
deep gorge would have contour lines
close together, while widely spaced
contours indicate a gentle slope.

DECEMBER 2014

GETTING ORIENTED

38

It is common practice that all


maps are oriented with true north at
the top. At the bottom of the map, a
symbol of arrows pointing to the
geographic North Pole (shown by a
star), magnetic north (MN) and grid
north (GN). A map is generally oriented when it is made to correspond to the ground it represents by
rotating the map so that north on
the map is aligned with true north in
the real world. Orienting a map is
critical because it allows you to
point in a direction and know with
confidence what terrain lies ahead.
Orienting a map is commonly done
via two ways: by terrain association
or with a compass.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

3. One of the highest points on


the Waterman Mountain quadrangle map is this 7,283-foot peak,
easily seen by the contour lines
circling around each other. All the
way around, the mountain has a
steady rise and has the appearance of a rounded pyramid in
shape with several sub-peaks on
the southeast face. The red and
white striped line in the lower left
is Angeles Crest Highway.
4. The widely spaced contour lines
in this section of the Fontana
quadrangle show a typical alluvial
plane gently descending north
from steadily narrowing canyon.
At the bottom, the map lists the
interval at 20 feet. At the base of
that canyon are several buildings
in black. To the east, the walls of
the canyon rise sharply, from 1,100
feet at the bottom of the natural

TERRAIN ASSOCIATION
What if your compass breaks?
You take a spill down a hill and it
smashes on a rock or gets lost.
What then? How will you know
where you are going or which way
you need to go? Youll have to orient
your map based on what you can
see, and this is easier if the area you
are in has definite features, like a tall
mountain or a deep ravine. If you are
in an area with little to no reference
points, like on the plains or in the
rainforest where your view is
blocked, it will be considerably more
difficult, but not impossible.
Hold the map in front of you and
look around. Are there mountains?
A cliff? A river? Can you find it on
the map? If so, which direction is it
in? Turn the map so it faces in that
direction and then look for something else to cross-reference or a
defining feature on the first object
to further your orientation. Its not

amphitheater to 1,538 at its peak.


The green shading shows that this
flat canyon is cultivated with a
road (dotted line) following a natural steam (blue line) through the
middle of it.
5. This is a particularly beautiful
spot on the convergence of three
canyons in the Mt. San Antonio
quadrangle, Vincent Gulch from
the north, Mine Gulch from the
west and Prairie Fork in the east. A
Jeep trail (dotted black line) runs
through the canyon. The dotted
blue line through Mine Gulch indicates a narrow wash, most likely
dry, while the v-shapes of the contour lines in the various gulches
point towards upstream. The BM
4505 is a 4-inch copper marker
placed in concrete by the original
surveyor of the area.

an exact science, but at least it will


help you head in the right direction.

USING A COMPASS
The compass always points
north. The problem is that the compass doesnt point directly to the
North Pole. Instead, it always points
to the magnetic north pole, which is
currently somewhere in northeastern Canada. The map, however,
points directly toward true north,
and you need to know the difference
in a real world situation.
Magnetic declination is the number of degrees and direction
between true north and magnetic
north. Because declination varies
over time, it is advisable to get a reasonably current figure by using a
current map. If magnetic north is
east of true north, the local declination is positive. If magnetic north is
west of true north, the local declination is negative.

ASG_1412_TEALIGHT 10/1/14 3:50 AM Page 39

Only a few materials


are needed to make a
tea-light heater. Odds
are good that most
everyone has these
items around the house
at any given time. The
loaf pan is a standard
9x5-inch pan, while the
pots are off-the-shelf,
8 inches in diameter for
the larger, outer pot
and 6 inches for the
smaller, inner pot.

Cheap Heat
HOW TO MAKE A TEA-LIGHT HEATER Story and photography by Ryan Lee Price
Called free convection (or natural
convection), the heated air is moved
by buoyancy forces, by the physics
of fluid dynamics.
When air comes into contact
with a hot surfaceburning wood or
a candlethe energized molecules
in the heated air separate away
from each other, which causes the
air to be less dense. Less dense air
rises, and since nature abhors a vacuum, cooler air from farther away
from the heat source rushes in to
take the place of the rising air. In

turn, this new air is heated and rises.


As it rises away from the original
source of the heat, it raises the temperature of the surrounding environment, whether it is a tent, a small
room or the space around a campfire. As a result, a cycle begins, with
cooler air constantly replacing the
rising warm air.
Making a small tea-light heater is
quick and easy, and whats produced is an efficient way to heat a
small room, a tent or, at the very
least, a source of heat to keep your

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

DECEMBER 2014

he concept of convection is simple: It is the


transfer of heat from
one location to another
via the movement of
fluid; in the case of a simple heater
like this one, the fluid is air. Most traditional heaters utilize forced heat.
Fans blow hot air from the heating
coils of the unit into the atmosphere
of the space to be heated, but a fireplace or a campfire disseminates
the heat to the surrounding area
without the aid of external forces.

39

ASG_1412_TEALIGHT 10/1/14 3:50 AM Page 40

Cheap Heat

DECEMBER 2014

[RIGHT] Natural convection uses fluid


dynamics to heat the surrounding air. The
tea-light pot draws air from outside the
pots, pulling it up between the two pots via
low pressure as the hot air escapes through
the top (and sides). It is a simple concept
that can create a lot of heat in a small space.

40

Four standard tea-light candles are placed in the bottom of the pan.
These candles are advertised as lasting four hours, but when grouped
together and creating a larger amount of heat in whats essentially an
oven, they will not last half that time. Cutting down to three candles
has little effect on the overall heat produced.

Start by lighting all four candles. They can be spread apart a little, as
long as all four of them are directly under the smaller, inner pot.

The smaller, 6-inch pot is then placed over the candles. It rests on the
lip of the loaf pan. If your pan is larger in diameter than the pot, consider adding a small barbecue grate so the pot doesnt slip off the
edges of the pan.

Next, find something to block the drain hole of the smaller pot. A wad
of tinfoil or a rock will work fine as long as it is something that isnt
flammable. The idea is to trap the hot air produced by the candles so
the terracotta absorbs the heat.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

ASG_1412_TEALIGHT 10/1/14 3:50 AM Page 41

[FROM TOP] The final step is to place the


larger, 8-inch pot over the smaller pot. Again,
if the pan is too big, use a barbecue grate or a
couple of sticks to support the pots. Center
this pot and the smaller one directly over the
candles so theres an even amount of space
between the pots.
Inside, as the candles produce heat, they are
transferring that heat to the inner pot, where
the terracotta absorbs and stores the heat.
Taking the temperature of the inside of the
unit, from the drain hole of the outer pot,
shows an immense amount of heat produced
by the heater. In no time, a steady column of
hot air will continue to pour from the heater
as long as the candles stay lit. The temperature of the outer pots surface is also hot and
makes for a great hand warmer.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

DECEMBER 2014

hands warm on a frigid night. The


materials are scant, two small terracotta flower pots, four tea-light candles and a metal pan, in this case, a
loaf pan. Though similar, this is a little more than just a chimney. As the
inner pot heats to a high temperature, it warms the air between the
two pots but also heats the outside
pot as well. We placed our tea-light
heater in a small two-man tent for
an hour and we were able to raise
the temperature of the tent by eight
degrees. That doesnt sound like
much, but going from, say, 32
degrees to 40 degrees is a big difference, not only in temperature, but in
morale as well.
Of course, who carries four
pounds of terracotta pots and a loaf
pan around when theyre backpacking in the wilderness? Thats right,
nobody. However, imagine theres
no power at home and you have
very little in the way of heat but a
few tea lights candles and a couple
of pots. Candles alone will provide
some heat, but combined with the
surface area of the pots, the diffusion of heat will spread farther and
last longer.
A word of caution: The temperature of the bottom of the metal pan
will increase as the candles burn
down closer to the pan. Use common
sense where this heater is set up, and
place it in a location free from combustibles and where it wont be accidentally knocked over.

41

ASG_1412_COLT 9/29/14 1:56 AM Page 42

Breakdown

DECEMBER 2014

HOW TO FIELD STRIP A COLT M1911 STORY BY RYAN LEE PRICE

42

he Colt Model 1911 semi-automatic pistol continues to have a


good run, as Colt produced 2.7
million units for the United States
military, which issued them as
standard service pistol well into the 1980s. It
has been directly copied by a dozen different
manufacturers and is still a very popular
weapon all around the world.
Designed by John Browning, the 2.44pound pistol is chambered in the .45 caliber
cartridge especially designed by Browning for
the semi-automatics action. In 1906, the government started trials with six manufacturers
(Colt, Bergmann, DWM, Savage Arms, Webley,
and White-Merril), searching for a new service

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

weapon for its armed forces. After using the


M1873 single-action revolver during the Philippine-American War (1899-1902), the U.S. government wanted to develop a semi-automatic
gun using a .45-caliber shell, particularly for its
stopping power. During the trials, Browning
himself fired more than 6,000 rounds through
a single Colt pistol over the course to of two
days, dunking it in a bucket of water when it
got too hot to hold, and the Colt experienced
no malfunctions.
After successful trials, it was adopted by
the U.S. Army on March 29, 1911, thereby gaining its official designation, Colt M1911. It was
used primarily by the Army for the next four
wars, slowly being replaced by the 9mm in the

[TOP] There are


several variations
produced over the
last 100 years from
a variety of companies. The eld strip
is performed on a
Series 70 M1911, but
this picture shows a
more recently produced Norinco with
aftermarket Hogue
grips. If yours differs in any way
from the Series 70
shown, consult your
owners manual
before proceeding.

ASG_1412_COLT 9/29/14 1:56 AM Page 43

Check it again. The best safety advice you can take away from this is
that complacency and routine can cause accidents. Assume youve
missed something and check again. Return the slide to its forward
position and set the safety.

There are two ways to remove the barrel bushing: either by hand, or
with a bushing wrench. Though using the wrench would be much easier than doing it by hand, you may find it necessary to do so if you have
a tightly fitting bushing. However, if you dont have one, youll have to
do it by hand. Press in the recoil spring plug with one hand, and, with
the other, rotate the bushing 90-degrees clockwise (as viewed looking
down the barrel).

The recoil spring plug is under a large amount of pressure and will
eject itself across the room if you dont keep it in check. Slowly release
the pressure with your thumb covering the plug and let it out. Remove
the plug and set it aside.

Pull back the slide until the small notch in the bottom of the slide
aligns with the slide stop mechanism on the side of the frame. Push
the slide lock mechanism out from the right side until it is completely
removed (to the left).

With the spring exposed and the slide stop set aside, the frame can
now be removed.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

DECEMBER 2014

Start by ejecting the clip and locking back the slide. Check the chamber thoroughly to ensure there are no rounds left in the gun. Keep safe:
point the gun away from you or anyone else during this step.

43

ASG_1412_COLT 9/29/14 1:56 AM Page 44

Breakdown

Turn the gun upside-down and rest the slide on the table. Pull the
frame back away from the slide. Holding the gun upside down prevents the link, recoil spring, and recoil spring guide rod from getting in
the way while it comes apart.

To remove the barrel from the slide, remove the recoil spring and then
twist the barrel bushing counter-clockwise as far to the right as it will
go. This will line up a narrow tab inside the barrel bushing with the
recoil spring.

Push out the barrel and the barrel bushing as one unit. It will easily
glide away from the slide.

For ordinary cleaning, this is as far as you need to go in disassembling


the M1911. When cleaning, make sure to thoroughly remove any built
up dirt, old oil, or soot that may have caked on. Pay close attention to
the corners and use an approved gun cleaning solution. Before assembly, the rails of the slide, the barrel, and recoil spring plug should be
lubricated as well as the barrel bushing. Remember, use quality lubrication and dont slather it on. A little goes a long way.

DECEMBER 2014

FIELD STRIPPING ANY GUN IS PARAMOUNT TO PROPERLY CLEAN, LUBRICATE,


AND INSPECT IT AS WELL AS DIAGNOSE AND REPAIR ANY DAMAGED PARTS.

44

1980s. Additionally, it became popular throughout the world and is or


has been used by nearly 30 different
countries armed forces as their official sidearms.
As with any gun, proper maintenance is required to keep it in perfect working order and at the ready
when needed. Field stripping any
gun is paramount to properly clean,

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

lubricate, and inspect it as well as


diagnose and repair any damaged
parts. Specifically, a field stripping is
the minimum amount of disassembly necessary (with a minimal use of
specialized tools) to perform these
maintenance tasks.
For the M1911, basically disassembly and cleaning is straightforward and requires only a rag and

some gun oil. Use a sturdy work surface, good lighting, and something
underneath the gun to protect its
finish. It is a good idea to wear eye
protection when removing the recoil
spring plug because it is under
immense pressure and will launch
out of the frame at a surprising
velocity if not kept under control.

ASG_1412_COLT 9/29/14 1:56 AM Page 45

The Parts
Of A Colt .45

Though field stripping only


requires the disassembly of a
few vital parts, the typical M1911
employs nearly 50 parts for a
complete disassembly. Though
completely possible for a novice
to disassemble and reassemble
with some specialized tools, a
task of this nature should be left
to the professionals. Let this be a
glossary of terms to better familiarize yourself with the complex
function of the veritable semiautomatic, although yours will
vary slightly.

18. Magazine assembly


19. Magazine catch
20. Magazine catch lock
21. Magazine catch spring
22. Mainspring
23. Mainspring cap
24. Mainspring cap pin
25. Mainspring housing
26. Mainspring housing pin
27. Mainspring housing pin
retainer
28. Plunger spring assembly
29. Plunger spring
30. Plunger tube
31. Rear sight
32. Recoil spring
33. Recoil spring guide

34. Recoil spring plug


35. Safety lock
36. Safety lock plunger
37. Sear
38. Sear/disconnector pin
39. Sear spring
40. Slide
41. Slide stop
42. Slide stop plunger
43. Stock assembly
44. Stock screws
45. Stock screw bushing
46. Trigger
47. Frame
48. Lanyard loop
DECEMBER 2014

1. Barrel
2. Barrel bushing
3. Barrel link
4. Barrel link pin
5. Disconnector
6. Ejector
7. Ejector pin
8. Extractor
9. Firing pin
10. Firing pin spring
11. Firing pin stop
12. Front sight
13. Grip safety
14. Hammer
15. Hammer pin
16. Hammer strut
17. Hammer strut pin

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

45

ASG_1412_BG_GASMASKS 10/6/14 1:39 AM Page 46

Gear Guide
GAS MASKS
Clean Air On The Go

PHOTO BY ???????????????

Buying A Gas Mask In America

DECEMBER 2014

Australian soldiers prepare for the worst in


the trenches of the western front, 1916.

46

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

THE IDEA OF TERRORISTS using toxic chemicals is fairly remote, as a widespread dissemination of biological agents by a small cell of terrorists is a difficult mission to accomplish. That isnt to say a small band of bad guys or a
lone terrorist left to his own devices isnt capable of creating a small disaster
localized to a specific place. Shoko Asahara and his terrorist group, Aum
Shinrikyo, released a sarin gas in the Tokyo subway system in 1995, killing 13
people and adversely affecting an additional 5,200.
The most likely scenario that would prompt anyone to purchase a gas
mask for personal protection would be an accidental chemical spill or a similar industrial accident happening in their neighborhood that would make the
air not breathable for a short period of time. In 2010, the Matheson Tri-Gas
plant in La Porte, Tex., accidentally released a white cloud of boron trichloride into the neighborhood, where residents experienced respiratory tract
burns, skin burns, eye burn and mucous membrane burns.
The risk isnt limited to metropolitan areas, but the likelihood is much
higher in a more densely populated area. In addition to being prepared with
proper breathing equipment, it would do a person well to prepare his house
in the event of a chemical/biological attack or the propagation of an
unknown gas. Seal windows, doors and vents with duct tape. Tape between
the door and the frame and between the frame and the wall. The space
between the door and the floor should be covered with a wet towel. Turn off
air conditioning units, swamp coolers, and forced-air furnaces, anything that
brings in outside air.
When purchasing a gas mask, there are several factors to consider, and a
plethora of designs and styles on the market, from modern adaptations to
current interpretation of years-old military surplus designs. Consider how old
the gas mask is before purchasing. How expensive is the filter and how long
will it last? The ubiquitous filter is the 40mm NATO-threaded canister, which
are most readily available and popular.
Regardless of which one you purchase, make sure your mask is NATO or
NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health) rated. Gas
canister and filters should be NBC, which give protection against chemical,
biological and nuclear agents. That a filter is NBC (Nuclear, Biological,
Chemical)-rated is a major selling point for retailers and if it meets these
standards, it will surely be posted.
Long-term gas mask wearing is impractical and nearly impossible, considering the length of time the filters last and how many human functions
are necessary while wearing it. Remember, you cant live in a gas mask, but it
might help you stay alive while you figure out your next move.

ASG_1412_BG_GASMASKS 10/1/14 3:56 AM Page 47

GAS MASKS Gear


Guide
EDITORS
PICK
NATO SGE 150 Survival Gas Mask
Features butyl rubber face seal with single front filter port. The
polycarbonate face shield makes for a lightweight and compact
mask while providing a wide field of vision. It is fitted to the face
via six adjustable straps. A partitioned nose and mouthpiece
allow air to pass in and out of the filters of the mask without
causing condensation or fogging of the visor.
$114.95
Inter-American Security Products, Inc.
12201 SW 128th Court
Suite 104
Miami, FL 33186
(888) 299-9750
Interamer.com

Israeli Military M15

Mestel Safety SGE 400/3

A very common gas mask on the market


today is the M15 Israeli mask that was issued
to civilians over the last 15 years. It comes
with two filters and instructions in English,
but the manufacturer urges that buyers consult an expert if it is intended for use (which
begs the question of why buy it). The rubber
mask has a drinking tube, and the large lenses
are plastic. It is effective as a respirator only
and not for serious nerve or chemical agents.
$35.99

Mestal Safety has been creating rubber products for 58 years, including a wide variety of
gas masks. The SGE 400 series masks are the
latest in its series of respiratory protection.
The lenses are treated with a siloxane chemical for strength and a scratch-resistant coating. A valve on the mask can be used to cut
down on humidity inside the mask for better
visibility, and the entire face seal is made from
medical grade silicone, which resists chemicals, provides a tight seal against the face,
and is more comfortable than rubber.
$159.95
Inter-American Security Products, Inc.
12201 SW 128th Court
Suite 104
Miami, FL 33186
(888) 299-9750
Interamer.com

The CBA/RCA stand for Chemical Biological


Agent/Riot Control Agent, as the MSA
Advanatage 3100 Gas Mask is based on MSAs
very popular industrial Advantage 3000 respirator systems with a 40mm filter port. It
features a silicone face piece, and has a onepiece polycarbonate wraparound lens
designed to eliminate distortion and increase
peripheral vision. The harness has adjustable
straps, and the mask is overall lightweight
and low maintenance. It is NIOSH approved to
protect against a variety of particulates.
$189.99
NBC Gas Mask
(888) 719-9000
NBCGasMask.com

DECEMBER 2014

The Sportsmans Guide


411 Farwell Avenue
P.O. Box 239
South St. Paul, MN 55075-0239
(888) 844-0667
SportsmansGuide.com

MSA Advantage 3100


CBA/RCA Mask

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

47

ASG_1412_BG_GASMASKS 10/1/14 3:56 AM Page 48

Gear
Guide

GAS MASKS

German M65 Gas Mask And Filter


This faithful replica of the M65 German Bundeswehr gas mask
is constructed of standard high-strength flexible rubber and
features large triangular eyepieces for improved vision, a
voicemitter for improved verbal communication, and an
improved exhalation valve for easier breathing. The sealed,
threaded filter port is a standard NATO 40mm design. The M65
was originally designed to protect against nerve gas, blister
agents, choking agents, tear gases, incapacitates, and toxins.
$22.95

DECEMBER 2014

Major Surplus & Survival


435 W. Alondra
Gardena, CA, 90248
(800) 441-8855
MajorSurplus.com

48

Advantage 1000 CBR-RCA


Gas Mask

Scott Safetys M95


Gas Mask

C50 First Responder Kit


Gas Mask

Effective against biological agents and various chemical warfare agents (sarin, VX, mustard, and lewisite, for example), the one-piece
polyurethane lens allows a wide field of vision
and is bonded to the durable rubber face
piece. The adjustable six-point head-harness
is easy to put on and take off, while the filter
can mount on either side to allow weapon
sighting from either shoulder. The interior
nosepiece eliminates fogging and a
voicemitter allows for easy communication.
Includes one CBA-RCA filter.
$299.95

Used globally by many nations armed forces


(Finland, for example), the M95 mask has a
low-profile design and needs only eight seconds to get on. The six-point harness is rugged
and the masks materials are chemical resistant. The side-mounted filter makes it easy to
shoot a rifle while still wearing the mask, and
the voicemitter allows for clear speech. The
large eyepieces provide a good field of vision,
and it meets NATO and NIOSH standards.
$349.95

The Avon C50 Twin Port Mask is the 40mm


filter version of the Avon Protection 50
Series of masks. The FM50/M50, known as
the new Joint Services General Purpose Mask
(JSPGPM), is the mask used by all branches of
the U.S. military and the only difference
between those and the C50 is a different filter
systems: The C50 mask uses one 40mm filter
that can be mounted on either the left or
right side. The kit includes C50 Mask, mask
face form, one CBRNF12B filter, one CTF12 riot
agent filter, one clear lens insert assembly,
one sunlight lens insert assembly, a universal
carrier, and one Avon nylon storage bag.
$599

Ready Made Resources


239 Cagle Road
Tellico Plains, TN 37385
(800) 627-3809
ReadyMadeResources.com

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

JRH Enterprises
PO Box 317
West Green, GA 31567
(912) 379.9441
JRHEnterprises.com

Ready Made Resources


239 Cagle Road
Tellico Plains, TN 37385
800-627-3809
ReadyMadeResources.com

ASG_1412_BG_GASMASKS 10/7/14 12:04 AM Page 49

GAS MASKS Gear


Guide

3M FR-M40
Silicone seals and a butyl rubber second
skin on the face piece allows for longer, more
comfortable wear times. A butyl-coated nylon
hood covers the head and neck and is easily
donned to add additional protection against
chemical agents, while a drinking tube means
the wearer wont have to take it off to replenish fluids. The dual eyepieces allow the mask
to be folded, so it is compact for storage, and
it includes several accessories: clear and gray
eyepiece inserts, exhalation valve, inhalation
valve kit, and spectacle kit. The FR-M40 fits
into a storage bag/carrying pouch with strap
$519
Ready Made Resources
239 Cagle Road
Tellico Plains, TN 37385
(800) 627-3809
ReadyMadeResources.com

MCU 2P Navy/Air Force


Issue Gas Mask
The New Issue Navy/Air Force MCU2P gas
mask is one of the most commonly available
masks. It features a drinking tube that is compatible with U.S. canteens, has a wide field of
vision, defogging valves, a voicemitter and a
side-mounted canister to allow more effective use of a rifle. It uses the standard 40mm
NATO filter, but the manufacturer recommends the M96 or C2A1 filters.
$199.95

History of Gas Masks


BELIEVE IT OR NOT, gas masks
are incredibly old. When picturing a gas mask, one usually
harkens to images of Great
War soldiers hunkered down in
the trenches during the Ypres
offensive in 1915. However, the
concept of masks to isolate
toxic air goes back to 850 AD
and a design by the Banu
Musa brothers in Iraq to protect workers in polluted wells.
Doctors employed bird-like
masks filled with spices during
The Plague, while 400 years
later, Prussian miner Alexander von Humboldt designed
the first respirator to be used
deep in coal mines.
The charcoal air filter
mask didnt come into being
until 1854 (invented by John
Stenhouse), while the addition of lime and glycerin in
1871 (by John Tyndall) to the
wool filter kept out smoke and
some gases in the air.
However, gas masks, like a
lot of things, were advanced
the most during times of war.
Represented here are a few gas
masks used by various military
throughout the last century.
A_The first American gas
masks during World War I were

based on the British Small Box


Respirator with improvements
done to the exhale valve and
the mouth piece which the
soldier would breath through.
This Richardson-Flory-Kops
mask uses a glass lenses, a
green canister, and a slightly
wider face piece. The small
canister to the right is a tube
of anti-dimming compound
to keep the lenses from
fogging up.
B_During World War II, the
Japanese utilized the Type 99
gas mask, issued in two main
versions, with or without a
hose and canister (shown).
The green canister was fitted
into a bag that was hung from
the neck and the mask itself is
rubber covered in a canvas. The
lenses were glass and
unscrewed so they could be
replaced if damaged, but the
nose is purely cosmetic. They
were specifically designed to
fit the faces of Japanese; it
would be uncomfortable for
people of other Asian cultures
who tried to wear it.
C_The M17 protective mask
was designed in 1959 to provide protection to American

soldiers through all known


types of chemical and biological agents. It was issued to
troops during the Vietnam War
and was standard until it was
replaced by the M40 in the
early 1990s. The mask used
different components for each
functionfilter, face piece
which allowed for easier repair.
D_Phased into military use in
the 1990s, the M40 field protective mask was commissioned to protect from
advancements in biological
warfare elements including
the then known 15 nerve,
choking, and blister agents as
well as two blood-borne
attacks. It features a drinking
attachment and is still a popular gas mask among civilians.
E_During the recent wars in
the Middle East, many countries issued a host of differing
gas masks for its population
and military. This particular
one, although the brand and
origin is unknown, was used by
the Iraqi army in the early
2000s. Its hose attaches to a
filter that is worn around the
neck, and the open face shield
is wide for improved vision.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

DECEMBER 2014

JRH Enterprises
P.O. Box 317
West Green, GA 31567
(912) 379.9441
JRHEnterprises.com

49

ASG_1412_50 9/29/14 1:28 AM Page 50

Now

REG. $26.95

$39.95

Now

$22.95

REG. $10.95

REG. $29.95

Now

$7.95

Now

$23.95

STRIKE FORCE
Fire Starter System
ITEM #14-0580

REG. $19.95

Now

$17.95

The patented Strike Force is an exceptional all-weather


flint based fire starting system. The system offers
you an all-in-one compact, durable package, with a
special alloy flint bar and hardened steel striker. When
you scrape the striker down the high performance
flint material you generate a spark three times as hot
as a standard match which will easily ignite any dry
tinder material, or you can use WetFire
tinder which burns at more than 1,300
degrees. You wont find a better
non-toxic, odorless tinder that
actually burns longer when wet.
When conditions are at their
worst you can count on Strike
Force to make you a warming
fire. It also is a safe
and easy lighter for your
backpacking stoves or
barbecues. Available
in Black or Orange.
REG. $29.95

REG. $48.95

SWEDISH FIREKNIFE
ITEM #03-0197
The Swedish FireKnife is a new product
by Light My Fire which incorporates both a
Mora Knife and a Swedish FireSteel, the
ultimate way to light a fire in any weather. The
3.75" blade is constructed of Sandvik 12C27
Swedish cold-rolled special stainless steel (Rc
56-58). The handle, with a high friction rubber
grip, is comfortable, and safe to use. Profile
grinding makes the blade extremely sharp
from the factory and is easy to resharpen
without special tools. The back of the knife
has been ground to work perfectly with the
Swedish FireSteel which is contained in
the rear of the handle. The durable Swedish
FireSteel works equally well when wet and
creates a 5,400F Spark. Just twist and
pull on the back of the handle to reveal the
Swedish FireSteel which measures .25"
in diameter by 1.5 long. Overall measures
8"L x 2"W x 1"H.

ITEM #03-0041

Now

$24.95
2

SNAKE BITE KIT (PACK OF 2)

CK
PA

ITEM #30-0020
A complete, compact kit for the treatment of snake bite
using the constrictor/suction method. Kit includes detailed
instructions, three pliable suction cups, easy to use with
one hand lymph constrictor, scalpel, and antiseptic swab.

REG. $19.95

Now

$9.95

REG. $19.95

Now

$10.95

ASG_1412_51 9/29/14 1:29 AM Page 51

THE RENEGADE
SURVIVAL KIT
ITEM #11-0020
The kit, made by a survivalist. Compact,
lightweight and effective. We kept only
whats necessary. Keep in your car, put
one in your Bug Out bag or leave one at
the office. Kit provides you with some
of the most basic human needs, Food,
Fire, Shelter and Rescue. Measures
6"L x 5"W x 2"H.

REG. $62.95

Now

$39.95

COMPLETE UNIVERSAL
SURGICAL KIT

Now

REG. $69.95

$59.95

REG. $14.95

$6.95

REG. $11.95

$9.95

ITEM #10-7688

REG. $43.95

Now

$34.95

Now

G.I. LENSATIC COMPASS


ITEM #02-1405

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ASG_1412_COVERSTORY 10/1/14 4:12 AM Page 52

Invisible

Weapons
BACTERIA, BUGS AND BIOTERRORISM:
SURVIVING SOMETHING YOU CANT SEE

DECEMBER 2014

Story by Carrie Visintainer | Photography Courtesy the Center for Disease Control and Prevention

52

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

ASG_1412_COVERSTORY 10/1/14 4:12 AM Page 53

TS MONDAY MORNING AT A LEVEL 1 TRAUMA CENTER IN


CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, AND DR. A.J. CUMMINGS, FOUNDING
MEMBER OF THE ACADEMY OF EMERGENCY MEDICINE AND
CLINICAL ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF SURGERY AT THE
UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO AT ILLINOIS, IS IN HIS OFFICE
PREPARING TO TEACH A CLASS OF MEDICAL RESIDENTS.

DECEMBER 2014

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53

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DECEMBER 2014

A. The Ebola virus,


shown here, has no
known cure and there
are no specific treatments available.
B. This thin-section
transmission electron
micrograph (TEM)
reveals a single virus
particle of measles
virus. C. The Avian
Influenza A H7N9 was
first detected in China
in March 2013 and
took nearly a year to
reach outside China.
Reports of the disease
have been increasing
in 2014. D. This colorized scanning electron micrograph
(SEM) depicts a
colony of Salmonella,
found in undercooked
or raw meat and poultry products. E. This is
the influenza virus
particle that causes
the common flu.

54

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

But just as he clicks open a file to look


through a Power Point presentation, he
receives an emergency alert from the hospital communications center. The announcement sends chills down his spine. A group of
patients have arrived at the ER, and based on
their symptomsfever, chills, difficulty
breathing, and nauseaare suspected of
having inhaled the bacteria Bacillus
anthracis: Anthrax.
Cummings wheels begin turning. Bioterrorism, he thinks, a term that refers to the
deliberate release of bacteria or viruses into
the environment in order to cause mass illness and casualties; a response he admits
comes automatically after 9/11.
Yet there are so many things unknown at
the onset. Perhaps the exposure happened
naturally. Maybe the patients somehow came
into contact with infected cattle or goats and
breathed in the rod-shaped bacteria spores?
And what is the full scope of the situation?
Are these the only people who have been
exposed, or will others begin trickling or
pouring into the ER as they begin to get sick?
As Cummings hustles down to meet his
colleagues, he thinks about what he does
know, based on his medical training. He
understands that inhaled anthrax is the most
serious form of anthrax infection, must be
treated immediately upon diagnosis, and
isnt contagious. He also knows that anthrax
is a Category A biological agent, as described

by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).


Along with smallpox, tularemia, botulism,
pneumonic plague, and the viral hemorrhagic fevers, anthrax is among the highest
risk of being used as a bioweapon, based on
its ability to be easily disseminated, cause
public fear and panic, result in widespread
illness and death, and ultimately cripple the
infrastructure and economy of a society.
As a front line doctor, Cummings job is to
react effectively to immediate medical needs.
He and his team call up protocol and think
through the cascade of events necessary to
address the situation, including diagnostic
lab testing, chest X-rays, CT scans, treating
patients with appropriate antibiotics and
antitoxin, and perhaps even paging extra
personnel if large numbers of patients begin
presenting with symptoms, such as if the
spores have been released into the air by a
plane or truck.
When Cummings and his group are finished, they sigh with relief. After all, this was
only a test. A mandatory drill. A mock biohazard disaster. And although the medical
personnel knew that this was a practice scenario from the start, including that the
patients were volunteers, they felt anxiety
and responded like it was a real-life situation, because training like this has everything
to do with preparedness.
Biological attacks may not happen with
regularity, but there are huge efforts in place

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Invisible

Weapons
Dont hesitate to seek medical help! If you believe youve been
exposed to a biological agent or virus, or
have been a victim of an attack, avoid contact
with other people and head directly to the emergency room. This could save your life.
For example, the smallpox vaccine, if administered
within three days of exposure to the va riola virus, can
significantly decrease the severity of the disease. In
addition, most biologically caused infections and
diseases, including pulmonary (inhaled) anthrax,
must be diagnosed and treated immediately for the best chances of a full
recovery.

E
D

snakes, human blood, and manure and


allowed it to putrefy.
The dipped arrows contained the bacteria of
gangrene and tetanus, while the snake venom
would attack red blood cells and the nervous
system, and could even induce a respiratory
paralysis. In fact, we get our English word for
toxin form the Greek word toxikon, which is
derived from toxon, the Greek word for arrow.
During the siege of the city-state of Athens
by the Spartans in the Peloponnesian War, a
devastating epidemic broke out, which killed
thousands of Athenians. The famous historian Thucydides, writing between 431 B.C.
and 404 B.C. reported, it was supposed that
Sparta poisoned the wells.
As well, it has been suggested recently
that the plague of Athens during the Peloponnesian War was Ebola, most likely
brought by the African Green Monkey. A
common regimental pet of the African tribes,
the Green Monkey is the host for the Marlburg virus, a close relative of the Ebola virus.
Fast forward 1,000 years to the Tatars from
the Russian steppes. In 1346, during a battle
for Kaffa in the Ukraine, the Tartar army
hurled dead bodies riddled with the bubonic
plague over the walls of the enemy city. From
there, Genoese traders returned to Italy, and
by 1350, Europe was forever changed, precipitating with it the Dark Ages.
The first recoded weaponized biological
agent in North America occurred during the

THE TRUTH IS
THAT GERMS AND
WARFARE ARE OLD
ALLIES, CAUSING
THE DEATHS OF
FRIENDS AND FOE
ALIKE FOR MORE
THAN 2,000 YEARS,
LONG BEFORE THE
UNDERSTANDING
OF WHAT GERMS
WERE AND HOW
THEY WERE
TRANSMITTED.

DECEMBER 2014

to be ready if they do. It takes vigilance to


stay prepared, says Cummings.
After 9/11 and the anthrax attacks of 2001,
the Bush administration and future leaders
responded by, among other things, placing
high priority on hospital preparedness, funding significant efforts to strengthen the U.S.
healthcare system.
The All Hazards Preparedness program,
including disaster drills like this one, is
designed to arm medical centers with the
ability to treat large numbers of people
affected by anything from an act of bioterrorism to an H1N1 pandemic to a natural disaster like Hurricane Sandy.
This has meant buying more equipment,
creating partnerships, termed healthcare
coalitions, between neighboring hospitals,
convening committees, and adopting protocols. Preparing for, in essence, the worst. And
biological attacks are top of mind, because of
their use throughout history.
The truth is that germs and warfare are
old allies, causing the deaths of friends and
foe alike for more than 2,000 years, long
before the understanding of what germs
were and how they were transmitted.
As far back as 450 B.C., Greek historian
Herodotus described the Scythians archers,
who ruled a vast region around present-day
Iran using poison-tipped arrows. Skilled in
guerilla warfare, the Scythians concocted a
mixture of decomposed bodies of venomous

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F
H

DECEMBER 2014

56

F. The West Nile virus is


transmitted via mosquitoes and is in a similar family of diseases as Ebola.
The first case in the United
States was in 1999, and
since, nearly 300 people
have died from it in this
country. G. This colorized
scanning electron micrograph (SEM) reveals a
small clustered group of
Gram-positive, betahemolytic Group C Streptococcus sp. bacteria. H. This
transmission electron
micrograph (TEM) reveals
norovirus virus, a virus that
attacks the stomach and
intestines. Each year, it
causes 19-21 million illnesses, which leads to
nearly 800 deaths in the
United States. It is the
most common foodborne
disease in the U.S. I. This
strain of E. coli is an emerging cause of foodborne illness. An estimated 73,000
cases of infection, and 61
deaths occur in the United
States each year because
of it. Infection can also
occur after drinking raw
milk, and after swimming
in, or drinking sewage-contaminated water. J. Once
this tuberculosis bacteria
begins to multiply, if the
immune system cant stop
them from growing, the
bacteria attack the body
and destroy tissue. If in the
lungs, the bacteria can
actually create a hole in the
lung tissue. K. This H5N1
viruses (seen in gold) is
also known as the avian
influenza A. It usually
doesnt infect humans;
however, several instances
of human infections and
outbreaks have been
reported since 1997.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

French and Indian Wars (1754 to 1767) and


the agent was smallpox. The method of delivery was blankets, not bombs. Sir Jeffrey
Amherst, who was the commander of British
forces in North America formulated a plan to
reduce, as he so clinically expressed it, the
size of the Native American tribes that were
hostile to the crown.
In late spring 1763, there was an outbreak
of smallpox in the garrison of Fort Pitt. This
produced a bacterial delivery system that the
medical world would now refer to as a
fomite, an inanimate object capable of naturally containing or transporting an infectious agent. Blankets and a handkerchief
laden with the pus or dried scabs from the
smallpox sores of the infected British troops
were collected in Fort Pitts infirmary. These
blankets and handkerchiefs were usually
burned. This time, they were saved.
On June 24, 1763, one of Amhersts subordinates, Captain Ecuyer, ceremoniously gave
the blankets and one handkerchief to the
Indians invited to confer at the Fort. Captain
Ecuyer recorded rather chillingly in his diary,
I hope it will have the desired effect. This
gift may have had its intended effect.
Native American tribes in the Ohio Valley
suffered a smallpox epidemic.
What is remarkable is the fact that science
did not discover the germ theory and how
diseases are transmitted until the late 1870s.
With the work of Louis Pasteur (1822-1895)
and Robert Koch (1843-1910) and the subsequent development of microbiology in the
late 19th century, it was finally possible to
isolate, produce, and weaponize biological

agents in a more formal way, opening the


door to expand weapons of warfare into new
and chilling territory.
The reason that this history is so important is that it tends to repeat itself. Here we
are in the 21st century, with the government
in constant surveillance for public health
emergencies, including outbreaks, pandemics, and acts of bioterror.
When considering the face of the current
biological threat, Dr. Amesh Adalja, an infectious disease physician at the University of
Pittsburgh Medical Center whos interested
in how national security and infectious disease intersect in natural or intentional ways,
tends to focus on what has already happened
successfully.
Things that have worked in the past are
most likely to be used again, he says. He
and his team hold brainstorming sessions
where they consider a whole range of possible bioterrorism scenariosnone of which he
can share publicly, for privacy reasons but
ultimately, in planning for the future, they
partly keep their eyes on the past.
Adalja emphasizes that the CDCs list of
Category A agents and diseases are top concerns. In addition, he and his colleagues
study agents, toxins, and diseases that might
not be thought of as weapons of bioterror.
For example, the bacteria salmonella, causes
the illness Salmonellosis and is characterized
by fever, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea,
and sometimes requires hospitalization.
Salmonella is listed as a Category B agent
by the CDCrated moderate risk for ease of
dissemination and potential illness. Adalja

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Invisible

Weapons

letter than may contain biological material.


From a public health perspective, Adalja
notes that biological agents or diseases used
in acts of bioterrorism are some of the most
complicated to understand, because unlike a
bomb, or even chemical exposure, people
dont always know if theyve been infected
right away. Many bacteria and viruses have a
long incubation period, which means it can
take a person up to 60 days to get sick from
an agent like pulmonary anthrax, up to 12
days for the smallpox virus, and up to 10 days
for foodborne botulism, making it difficult to
immediately understand the scope of the situation, or how it was initiated.
In addition, Adalja emphasizes its often
its often difficult to tell a natural event from
an intentional one. You always want it to be
natural, because intentional sets off a cascade of actions that have a lot of implications, he says. Whereas a natural outbreak
can be dealt with from a public health standpoint, a deliberate attack involves national
defense and forensic issues that need to be
addressed as well.
He notes that during the 1984 salmonella
poisoning resulting from Oregon salad bars,
the outbreak was originally investigated and
thought to be natural, but was actually intentional. It takes a very astute investigator to
tease apart that kind of thing, he says. Even
during the anthrax attack in 2001, it was
thought maybe it was a natural outbreak
because the first victim had been out in the
wilderness in North Carolina and might have
come in contact with an animal that had died
of anthrax.

Have a
Plan
The CDC has the following
emergency preparedness
plans for all types of biohazards. This is tons of
information, and it
applies to all hazards versus exclusively bioterrorism. In the meantime,
look into ways to:
> Stock an emergency
supply kit
> Create a family communication plan
> Stay informed

DECEMBER 2014

recalls an event of more recent history that


had a significant public health effect: the
Rajneeshee bioterror act of 1984, in which
salad bars in 10 restaurants in Oregon were
deliberately contaminated with salmonella by
followers of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, sickening 751 people and hospitalizing 46. Because
of acts like this, contamination of public food
and water systems remain a top concern.
Adalja says theres also been an increase
in the use of Ricin, another Category B agent,
as a bioweapon over the last couple of years.
Ricin is a poison found naturally in castor
beans and can be made into a pellet, powder,
or mist, has no antidote, and can cause death
in infected patients depending on the dose
and method of exposure. Although Adalja
says Ricin has been historically used as more
of an assassins tool than a weapon of mass
destructionsuch as in1978, when a Bulgarian journalist died after a man injected a ricin
pellet under his skin using an umbrella
there have been recent threats of significance. For example, letters containing Ricin
have been mailed to the President of the
United States, a senator, and a judge, all
within the last year.
Because of this, one means Adalja and his
team focus on is the dissemination of
pathogens through the postal service. The
anthrax attacks of 2001, as well as the more
recent Ricin poisoning attempts, have created ongoing surveillance and heightened
awareness related to white powders in the
mail. As a result, the postal service has protectors and a protocol in place at their facilities in case they come into a contact with a

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

57

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BIOTERRORISM AGENTS
There are thousands of
diseases that affect millions of people throughout the world, and many
of those diseases come
from a handful of viruses
and bacteria that are
rarely seen in the United
States. This makes them
perfect candidates for
agents of bioterrorism.
They are classified by the
CDC into three categories
based on priority and
severity.

DECEMBER 2014

Category A

58

The U.S. public health


system and primary
healthcare providers
must be prepared to
address various biological
agents, including
pathogens that are rarely
seen in the United States.
High-priority agents
include organisms that
pose a risk to national
security because they:
Can be easily disseminated or transmitted
from person to person
Result in high mortality
rates and have the
potential for major public health impact
Might cause public panic
and social disruption
Require special action
for public health preparedness.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

Agents/Diseases
Anthrax (Bacillus
anthracis)
Botulism (Clostridium
botulinum toxin)
Plague (Yersinia pestis)
Smallpox (variola major)
Tularemia (Francisella
tularensis)
Viral hemorrhagic
fevers (filoviruses, e.g.,
Ebola; and arenaviruses,
e.g., Lassa, Machupo)

Category B
Second highest priority
agents include those that:
Are moderately easy to
disseminate
Result in moderate morbidity rates and low mortality rates
Require specific
enhancements of CDCs
diagnostic capacity and
enhanced disease surveillance.
Agents/Diseases
Brucellosis
(Brucella species)
Epsilon toxin of Clostridium perfringens
Food safety
threats (e.g., Salmonella species, Escherichia
coli O157:H7, Shigella)
Glanders (Burkholderia
mallei)
Melioidosis (Burkholderia pseudomallei)
Psittacosis

Chlamydia psittaci)
Q fever (Coxiella
burnetii)
Ricin toxin from Ricinus
communis (castor
beans)
Staphylococcal
enterotoxin B
Typhus fever (Rickettsia
prowazekii)
Viral encephalitis
(alphaviruses [e.g.,
Venezuelan equine
encephalitis, eastern
equine encephalitis,
western equine
encephalitis])
Water safety threats
(e.g., Vibrio
cholerae, Cryptosporidium parvum)

Category C
Third highest priority
agents include emerging
pathogens that could be
engineered for mass dissemination in the future
because of:
Availability
Ease of production and
dissemination
Potential for high
morbidity and mortality
rates and major health
impact.
Agents
Emerging infectious
diseases such as Nipah
virus and hantavirus

As far as who is most likely to initiate an


act of bioterrorism, Adalja divides the threat
into two categories: state and non-state
actors. State actors refer to a group of people
working as part of a program thats run by a
government, such as the former Soviet
Unions offensive program, where they were
preparing to make bombs and devices to disseminate biological weapons in a war setting.
And then there are non-state actors, such as
the terrorists responsible for 9/11 or the successive anthrax attacks; individuals leading
an initiative on their own or as part of a nongovernmental group.
Adalja believes the current risk rests primarily with non-state actors, which is conditioned, in part, by the fact that the independently initiated anthrax attack was successful
using the mail, and also by the fact that there
would be significant negative world pressure
put on a government program using biological warfare today. Although suspect still
exists, this pressure discourages the use of
this method.
And although critics say this isnt accuratethat biological weapons arent practical
or reliable and are not a realistic choice for a
low-budget terrorist group or individual
Adalja agrees this is a legitimate argument,
but he disagrees.
You do need tacit experience to do some
of this work he says, noting the concept of
dual use research, which refers, for example,
to a person whos a microbiologist by day
and terrorist by night, such as the infamous
Dr. Germ and Chemical Sally, who were both
legitimate microbiologists working in the
weapons program for the Iraqi government.
But formal training in microbiology isnt
necessary required. People do rudimentary
experiments that can be useful in this context, he says. Like making Ricin in their
garages from castor oil. He notes that people
can find cultures of biological agents in nature
without a lot of effort, so if a person has some

ASG_1412_COVERSTORY 10/1/14 4:13 AM Page 59

Hunker down. In your house or apartment,


have a bag ready with things like gloves and
N95 surgical masks, which are effective
against most viruses and can be found at
everyday hardware stores. In addition, wash
hands frequently and stay clean. Before the
emergency occurs (i.e. now), its important to
begin stockpiling food and water.
Cobb emphasizes that you dont need to
panic and spend $5,000 on a pallet of
freeze-dried food, but rather start by gathering enough food and water in your home
to feed your family for seven days. Then
shoot for 2 weeks. And then, build up to a
month. Increase your supply slowly over
time so that you are ready when the time
comes. For a comprehensive list of what to
include in your preparedness kit, visit the
CDC All Hazards Preparedness link at
http://emergency.cdc.gov/preparedness/kit/
disasters/.
Think beyond the infection. In the event
of a widespread attack, it may take time for
officials to get a handle on the situation. This
may mean that businesses have to shut
down, including grocery stores. Cobb suggests that self- sufficient skills will go a long
way toward sustaining yourself and your
family in the following days, weeks, or month
after societal shutdown. Things to explore for
your family include:
Learning to garden: No matter where
you live, you can grow something, Cobb
says. Container gardening works well in an
urban situation, and larger plots are doable
in a rural space.
Knowing how cook from scratch. Without
processed and prepared foods from a grocery
store or restaurant, its important to know
how to take food out of your garden and prepare it in a healthful way.
Investing in alternative energy. Solar panels and wind turbines have come a long way
in a short period of time. Purchasing solar
panels is relatively inexpensive and can provide much of your energy needs.
Empowering your children. Cobb has
three young boys at home, and although they
are as locked into the internet as many modern-age kids, he and his wife have been
working on other skills, taking them camping, having them help out in the garden,
teaching them how to cook; helping then
understand what it means to be self-sufficient, so they can grow up with this important life skill.

BE INFORMED
> Follow CDC Emergency
on Twitter for updated
information and preparedness chats.
https://twitter.com/CDCe
mergency.
> Sign up for public safety
emergency alerts in your
area at Ready.gov/alerts.
> Follow CDC Emergency
Preparedness and
Response on Facebook at
Facebook.com/cdcemergency.
> Visit CDC Emergency and
Preparedness at
http://emergency.cdc.gov
for comprehensive information on bioterrorism
and other potential disasters.

DECEMBER 2014

basic knowledge, they may be able to make


good effort at creating a biological weapon.
Although synthesizing a virus is not necessarily accessible to the everyday person,
there are other things that could be constructed from simple sources that dont
require a degree in microbiology, he says.
As a result, federal, state, and local governmental agencies are preparing on an
ongoing basis for an act of bioterrorism, as
well as natural outbreaks and pandemics,
focusing on the entire spectrum between
prevention and treatment. There exists
everything from comprehensive information
on the CDC website about various pathogens
to specific emergency response programs to
research into vaccines and medicines that
might be useful in treating diseases.
Many of these efforts intertwine, resulting
in partnership projects. For example, at Colorado State University, the federal Department of Health and Human Services is partially funding a project between university
researchers and a pharmaceutical company
to investigate whether an experimental drug
therapy may be used to effectively to treat
Burkholderia pseudomallei, the highly infectious bacteria that causes melioidosis, a Category B agent of emerging concern.
So, how can individuals prepare for an act
of bioterrorism, or even a natural outbreak?
Is it possible to escape? Jim Cobb, owner of
Disaster Prep Consultants and the author of
Countdown to Preparedness: The Preppers 52
Week Course to Total Disaster Readiness
believes that preparedness, above all, begins
with lifestyle. In order to protect yourself and
your family, he suggests the following steps:
Avoid being in a target area. Cobb
emphasizes that in the case of bioterrorism,
the perpetrators goal is to infect a high concentration of people, and person-to-person
contact is often a major factor in spreading
the illness.
If you have a choice to live in the middle
of Chicago, or the middle of Idaho, choose
the rural setting, he says. For those who are
forced who live in an urban area, Cobb recommends getting out of the region as soon as
an emergency is announced and isolating
yourself and your family as best as you can.
You can sign up for public safety emergency alerts in your area at Ready.gov/alerts
or register for e-mail alerts or RSS feeds from
the CDCs Health Alert Network at
http://emergency.cdc.gov/HAN/.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

59

ASG_1412_COVERSTORY 10/1/14 4:13 AM Page 60

Mission Critical
INSIDE THE CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION
Story by Ryan Lee Price | Photos Courtesy the CDC

unprecedented risks to public safety


with the air attack on the World Trade
Center and bioterrorism attacks using
anthrax spores as a weapon. Since
2001, CDC has worked around the
clock to save lives and help protect the
nation and other countries by
responding to nearly 50 emergency
disasters involving foodborne,
influenza, including H1N1, and other
infectious disease outbreaks, natural
disasters such as hurricanes, tsunamis,
tropical storm, wildfires, and earthquakes; and environmental emergencies such as deep-water horizon oil
spills and radiation leaks in Japan.
But it isnt all humanitarian: In May
1994, the CDC admitted to having sent
several biological warfare agents to
the Iraqi government from 1984
through 1989, including Botulinum
toxin, West Nile virus, Yersinia pestis,
and Dengue fever virus.

DECEMBER 2014

COMMUNICATIONS

60

THOUGH NOBODY KNOWS for sure


where it originatedtheories are as
varied as are the scientist and historians suggesting them (Chinese laborers, French birds, pigs from Kansas)
but early reports of the illness in late
1917 from the front lines in France and
Germany were suppressed by the Axis
and Allies to the extent that only neutral Spain allowed news coverage of
this new disease, hence the nickname,
the Spanish Flu. It has been cited as
the most devastating epidemic in
recorded world history. More people
died of influenza in a single year than
in four years of the Bubonic Plague
from 1347 to 1351.
It was a global disaster, and those
in power at the time decided that an
epidemic of this proportion could not
happen again.
The Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention (CDC) is the preeminent federal agency in the U.S. for protecting the health and safety of people
around the world. It provides data and
information to combat and contain
deadly diseases and viruses, while promoting health to wellbeing to Americans at home and abroad.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

Founded in 1946 as the Malaria


Control in War Areas (MCWA) fighting
malaria in the various wartime areas,
the CDC has worked assiduously
throughout the years to alert and suppress outbreaks of malaria, polio,
smallpox, and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). More
recently, the CDC has been besieged
with the peril of anthrax, as well as
contagious diseases like Severe Acute
Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), swine
flu, and Ebola. The CDC has guarded
people against noninfectious diseases
as well by responding to dangers in the
workplace caused by injury, disabilities, and environmental health threats.
The CDC tracked and controlled
polio in the 1950s, created a program
to eradicate smallpox in the 1960s,
and its CDC disease detectives discovered the cause of Legionnaires disease in 1976. In the early 1980s, the
CDC responded to the threat of a mysterious illness we know now as
acquired immunodeficiency syndrome
(AIDS), and in the 1990s, it partnered
with the Food and Drug Administration
to establish regulations for special
diets. The new millennium brought

In April 2002, construction began


on the new, state-of-the-art Marcus
Emergency Operations Center (EOC)
in Atlanta, Ga. The EOC is a 7,000
square foot, 24/7 mission-critical
building designed to monitor the
spread of diseases and possible bioterrorism threats worldwide. Much of
the CDCs work takes place on the
main operations floor of the EOC.
Here, the centers staff of scientists,
doctors, and researchers gather and
organize data from all over the world.
Images of real-time events, statuses,
alerts, news, and maps are transmitted via cable, satellite, and computer
feeds and displayed onto eight 50inch DLP projection screens. The EOC
control room houses the entire infrastructure for the main floor, while six
team rooms in the EOC operate independently from the rest of the facility.

BIOCONTAINMENT AREAS
Deep in the bowels of the CDC
(and elsewhere in the United States)
are the labs that study, organize, classify, and work with the various
microorganisms that are known to
cause diseases in healthy human
beings. They are classified into four
levels, designated in ascending order
by degree of protection provided to

ASG_1412_COVERSTORY 10/1/14 4:13 AM Page 61

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exchanged more readily. Gloves, masks,


and lab coats are required. The handling of needles and sharp objects is
regulated and controlled. Though the
biohazard material is normally confined to an incubator or freezer, leakproof boxes are used to transport
materials from one location to another.
Diseases such as Epstein-Barr virus,
hepatitis A-E, herpes, HIV, Monkeypox,
and spongiform encephalopathies are
studied in BSL-2.

PC101 White

PC102 Black

Biosafety Level 3 (BSL-3): Work


Dr. Terrence Tumpey, a staff microbiologist
at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention examines a reconstructed 1918 Pandemic Influenza Virus inside a specimen vial.

personnel, the environment, and the


community. Though standard microbiological practices are common to all
laboratories, each level ascribes to its
own degree of protection.

Biosafety Level 1 (BSL-1): This lab is


similar to any microbiology lab found
in a college classroom setting. The use
of agents is not considered hazardous.
There is a door that can be closed to
keep visitors out of the lab while work
with the agents is in progress. Waste
materials are segregated according to
hazard type, and work is done on an
open bench. The air is normally
changed out six times an hour, but the
labs do not need to be isolated from
the rest of the building. Lab coats,
gloves, and eye protection are suggested but not required. Examples of
BSL 1 agents include: Bacillus subtilis,
Eschericia coli K12, and Naegleria gruberi. There are thousands of BSL-1 labs
around the country.

Biosafety Level 2 (BSL-2): Diseases


studied in this level are ones to which
the people have had exposure to in the
community, often as children, and to
which they have already experienced
an immunity/vaccination for, such as
smallpox, influenza A, Lyme disease,
mumps, measles, and some sexually
transmitted diseases. Work can be
done in a similar fashion as in BSL-1,
but the safety precautions used by the
workers increase dramatically. Air is

done on serious infectious diseases


that may be lethal if inhaled are dealt
with in BSL-3. These labs are located
away from high-traffic areas of the
building (usually alongside BSL-4),
and specific barriers are put in place to
protect the workers. There is a doubledoor entry, and air is not allowed to
escape the room (in fact, air is never
re-circulated back into the room via
the HVAC system). Biological safety
cabinets are used, and all walls and
floors are waterproof and sealed. Respirators are used when working with
aerosol contaminants. Diseases such
as Rift Valley fever, Yellow fever, and
the resistant strain of Yersenia pestis
are contained in BSL-3.

Biosafety Level 4 (BSL-4): When


one thinks of the CDC, this is the area
they think of most, where the highly
contagious and extremely dangerous
diseases are studied, the ones that
pose the highest level to the safety of
the population, such as Bolivian and
Argentine hemorrhagic fevers, Marburg virus, Ebola virus, Lassa virus,
Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever.
The facilities are in a separate laboratory sealed off from the rest of the
building, isolated from its systems.
Workers in this unit utilize the latest in
personnel suits that are ventilated
with an internal life support system.
Outside visitation by non-personnel is
expressly prohibited.
There are 15 Biosafety Level 4 labs
in the country, nine of which are
attached to federally controlled facilities. The BSL-4 in Atlanta is one of only
two facilities in the world that have an
example of the smallpox disease.

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ASG_1412_BG_SHOVELS.CX 10/6/14 1:46 AM Page 62

Gear Guide
SHOVELS

Modern entrenching shovels cover a


broad spectrum of survival needs,
from compasses in the handle to
saws and picks and hammers. They
are usually made from wood, metal,
and plastic, as are these.

Survival Shovels

DECEMBER 2014

Three Sizes For Three Situations By Ryan Lee Price

62

ONE OF THE MORE OFTEN OVERLOOKED survival items needed in a wellstocked cache of equipment is a good quality entrenching shovel. While
most people probably think that a shovel is a shovel is a shovel, there are
dozens of different kinds of shovels for a wide variety of specialized tasks:
snow shovel, barn shovel, irrigation shovel, flathead, round-nose, garden
spade, and a duckbill spade to name a few.
Having a shovel in a survival situation is paramount: digging a latrine,
hiding your garbage, and turning over coals in the fire to shoring up your
tent drainage system, pounding a stake, and even burying the bodies if it
comes to that. In the right hands, it can be a formidable weapon; you can
use the blade as an impromptu frying pan; and they might even be pretty
good at digging a hole.
There are many survival shovels on the market today, and most offer
similar features: collapsibility for easy storage, a couple of different configurations, a storage/carry bag, and a few extra built-in tools. The three
shovels that we chose to highlight this month spotlight those offerings in
three unique ways, while giving you an idea of just how versatile modern
entrenching shovels can be.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

Foxhole Heroes:
Shovels Of Yesteryear
Modern entrenching tools get their start from the
military application of small, compact, shovels that
could easily be carried into combat strapped to the
outside of soldiers packs, though the ability to fold
up is a relatively modern invention. The practice of
digging trenches and foxholes goes back to World
War I and is still an integral part of military gear
issued to todays soldier. From left to right: Vietnamera entrenching tool issued in the mid-1960s and
used until the 1980s; a German-supplied shovel
issued to Austrian soldiers in 1914 during World War I;
used by Americans when it entered World War I in
1917 is this t-handle shovel dated 1918; and during
World War II, Americans used this folding shovel in
combat. Above is a knock-down axe and canvas carrying case from World War II.

ASG_1412_BG_SHOVELS.CX 10/6/14 1:46 AM Page 63

SHOVELS Gear
Guide

SOG
Elite Entrenching Tool
It arrives in a sturdy well-constructed
nylon pouch. There are no straps to sling
over your shoulder, but instead, three
loops with which to affix it to your pack
or belt (which would be impractical.)
Folded up, the 11-inch shovel fits snugly
in the sheath. Unfolded, the shovels
overall length is 26 inches, with an 812inch long and six-inch wide blade. The
shoulder is rolled over for strength when
digging, but the pivot-locking mechanism will get in the way of those using
their right feet. A half-turn in either
direction will lock the blade into an infinite range of angles. The handle is a
Fiberglas-reinforced nylon and although
it gives the first impression of being simple plastic that will break when it meets
its first rock, Fiberglas used in this way is
very strong.

The knob handle unscrews to release


a very sharp steel saw-tooth blade that
can be used for cutting wood or a variety
of things. The 7-inch blade reverses and
feeds back in through the knob, which is
screwed back onto the handle. Doing so
can be tricky, and if youre not careful,
youll be a victim of the business end of
the blade. It is a little awkward at first to
use the shovel in this manner, but we got
use to it fairly quickly.
The handle is dodecagonal shaped,
which provides a solid grip, even when
wet, and the slight texture adds to that
grip. The rounded knob has indentations
that affords a comfortable pivot point
for your opposite palm. The blade is 1075
carbon steel, the same material SOG
makes some of its knives with; it is the
kind of steel that holds its edge very
well, but will oxidize if the scratches are
not properly carried for.

SOURCE:

SOG Specialty Knives & Tools


6521 212th Street Southwest
Lynnwood, WA 98036
(888) 405-6433
SOGKnives.com
SPECS:

Length: 26 inches
Folded Length 11 inches
Weight: 24.8 ounces
Shovel Length: 812 inches
Blade Thickness: 0.06 inches
Finish: Hardcased black
Hardness: RC. 40-42
Blade Steel Type: 1075 carbon
Handle Material: Glass-reinforced nylon
Handle Color: Black
Sheath Color: Black
Sheath Material: Ballistic nylon
Sheath Attachment Type: Belt loop
Sheath Closure Type: Snap buckle

DECEMBER 2014

1. The nearly 9-inch blade is made of carbon steel and has a


well-rounded curve that scoops dirt easily instead of letting it
slip off of the edges. 2. The locking mechanism is large and
only needs a half turn in either direction to lock and unlock
the folding portion of the shovelhead. 3. Included in the handle is this 7-inch serrated (and very sharp) blade attachment.
4. The sheath is well built and easily holds the shovel in its
folded configuration. The folded hems are double stitched for
strength, but we wish there was a shoulder strap.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

63

ASG_1412_BG_SHOVELS 9/29/14 2:01 AM Page 64

Gear
Guide

SHOVELS

1. The shovelhead has a host of


abilities all by itself. 2. The locking
mechanism leaves a little to be
desired, as youll have to perfectly
line up the appropriate hole with
the setting screw in order for the
head to lock down. Once it is
sorted out, the possibilities are
nearly endless. 3. Though it is in
centimeters, it is a handy addition
when cutting specic lengths of
wire or if general measuring is
needed. 4. How many of your
shovels can open a beer, saw the
can in half, and then bolt it to the
wall? 5. The sheath is well made
and attractive. The extra pockets
and various congurations of the
straps are thoughtful additions.

WJQ-308/Q5

DECEMBER 2014

Chinese Multi-Function Military


Shovel

64

According to the manufacturer, the inventor


of this shovel was wounded twice in combat
and awarded eight times for his service, and
he used his experiences to create the Swiss
Army Knife of entrenching tools. It comes in a
very nice box with a well thought-out sheath,
but since the directions and text on the box
are all in Chinese, finding out what this tool
can do was an experiment in discovery. Obvious attributes on the 712-inch long, 6-inch
wide shovel head are a bottle opener, a 312inch long serrated portion of the head for
sawing, two wrenches (10 and 9mm), and a
smooth sharpened blade on the opposite side
for chopping.
The pivot point hosts its own bevy of
tools. Unscrew the locking mechanism, and
you can adjust it to a wide variety of settings;
however, having to line up the setting screw
AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

with the appropriate hole in order for the


screw to seat properly (and lock in the head)
is a little fiddly. Completely folded up, it
becomes a pair of wire cutters. Also while
folded, there is a rounded flat head on the
back of the shovel that can be used as a hammer. At various angles, the pivot point reveals
numerous abilities, from a can opener and a
pry bar to a screwdriver and wire wrappers.
The 16-inch handle is stout at 112-inches
wide and made of wood with a nice lacquer
on it. Running down the length of the shaft is
a centimeter scale. Unscrewing the knob end
releases a 10-inch spike that might have more
than a few applications. It reverses and
screws back into the handle to form a long
bayonet, perhaps, or mine probe.
The sheath has a multi-configurable strap
that allows you to carry it over your shoulder
or in your hand. It is made of sturdy nylon and
has two extra pouches that can hold a variety
of things.

SOURCE:

WJQ-308.com
SPECS:

Length: 26 inches
Folded Length: 17 inches
Weight: 2.8 pounds
Shovel Length: 7-3/4 inches
Blade Thickness: 0.06 inches
Finish: Hardcased black
Hardness: N/A
Blade Steel Type: Steel
Handle Material: Wood
Handle Color: Natural
Sheath Color: Cammo
Sheath Material: Ballistic nylon
Sheath Attachment Type: Three-point
buckle
Sheath Closure Type: Snap buckle

ASG_1412_BG_SHOVELS 9/29/14 2:01 AM Page 65

SHOVELS Gear
Guide

Rothco Five-in-One
The Diminutive Digger
Okay, dont laugh. Hear us out first. There are a
couple things at fault with this tool, but it isnt its
size. On the other hand, it is inexpensive and well
made. The steel is solid and will take quite a beating, especially the pick tool. Sure, the shovelhead
is small and you could get a handful of dirt just as
easily with, well, your hand, but that is the point.
Who wants to dig with their hands? The size of
the shovel, which folds up to only 9 inches makes
this perfect for a go-bag or in the trunk of your car.
The pivot point is locked in place by a large nut
and washer, traditional to the typical entrenching
tool design, and each of the four tools are affixed
via a cotter pin-secured bolt. The box says the
bolt should have a quick-release button, but our
example has a cotter pin, which is quite difficult to
get out without pliers.
The shovel comes with five tools. The pointed
shovelhead is 512-inches long and fairly robust;
the shoulders are rolled over for strength, and it is
1

riveted in three places to the mounting bracket.


There is a hint of serration on the left side of the
blade, but no way is that cutting anything. An 8inch-long saw-tooth attachment fits in place of
the shovelhead, and although isnt as sharp as it
should be, can be used to cut small branches easily. The hammer/hatchet attachment is a little to
be desired. The hammer doesnt have the heft
needed to drive nails, but it can work in a tent
stake fairly well. The hatchet side, if properly
sharpened, might prove useful. Out of the box, it
wont cut butter.
The best of the five tools is the pick. At 414
inches, it is very strong and able to penetrate even
the toughest dirt. On the butt of the handle is a
small compass that is useful in a pinch. The rubber grip slips off easily, which can be dangerous in
mid-swing but easily remedied with some glue.
There are several good reasons to include this
in your pack as a secondary shovel where space
and weight is an issue. In spite of its size and a
couple of machining issues, it is very practical,
functional tool.

SOURCE:

JHL Supply
28 W. First Street South
Fulton, NY 13069
(800) 537-1339
CampingSurvival.com
SPECS:

Length: 1312 inches


Folded Length: 9 inches
Weight: 1.8 pounds
Shovel Length: 5 inches
Blade Thickness: 0.04 inches
Finish: Hard-cased black
Hardness: N/A
Blade Steel Type: Steel
Handle Material: Rubber
Handle Color: Black
Sheath Color: Black
Sheath Material: Nylon
Sheath Attachment Type: Belt loop
Sheath Closure Type: Snap

1. In spite of its size (or perhaps because of it),


the ve-in-one tool has a few surprises in store
to make up for its shortcomings. 2. Disappointing was the cotter pin that is used to
release the mounting pin. It is difficult to
remove without pliers. 3. The compass is
always a nice addition to any tool, as it is an
integral piece of equipment in any survival situation. 4. The axe head out of the box is completely dull, while the hammer end isnt hefty
enough to create any momentum to hammer
anything more than tent stakes. 5. The sheath
is made of nylon and adequate to hold all of
the tools when the shovel is folded up. The
hammer/axe head is stored in the outer pocket
and secured with a snapping button.

DECEMBER 2014

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

65

ASG_1412_INTRO_URBAN 9/29/14 2:06 AM Page 66

IN THIS SECTION

COLLECTING RAINWATER + GET-HOME BAG + MICRO SURVIVAL KIT

Confinement In The
Concrete Jungle

DECEMBER 2014

Keeping It Together When


You Cant Get Out Of Town

66

IT IS HUMAN NATURE to want to escape an unpleasant situation, to remove ourselves


as far as possible from danger, discomfort, and misery. As social animals taught to help
our neighbors, we are conflicted when an emergency situation demands that we leave
our homes. We rely on the support and companionship of those around us in a similar
predicament, but what happens when we cant leave? One of our best traits as people
can turn into our worst trait as survivors. Self-sufficiency will preside over humanity,
conflicts will arise, and thats when trouble happens.
As preppers, there might be a time when you have to look out for yourself. You might
have to say no to someone in need on your doorstep, especially if there is nowhere to
turn and your supplies are limited. We can stockpile provision and prepare ourselves for
the worst, but are you prepared to make a decision that seals the fate of another family
less fortunate than you? Or do you open the door?

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

ASG_1412_SERE 9/29/14 2:10 AM Page 67

Compact enough
to make the kit
incredibly small
and light, but
large enough to be
very inclusive, the
SUMA PSK is an
all-purpose, getout-of-trouble
powerhouse of
equipment.

Big
Survival
Comes In
Small
Packages
STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHY BY RYAN LEE PRICE

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

DECEMBER 2014

SOLKOAS SUMA PRO SURVIVAL KIT

DONT LET ITS SIZE FOOL YOU.


THIS IS ONE VERY BIG SURVIVAL
KIT IN A VERY SMALL PACKAGE.
The motto of Solkoa, a small, veteran-owned survival equipment
company based in Colorado Springs,
Colo., is Preparing our nations best
for the worlds worst. It has, for the
past nine years, been providing the
highest levels of our governments
military programs with survival, evasion, resistance, and escape (SERE)
equipment with capabilities to meet
the standards to be used in the
countrys most clandestine operations. The very name, Solkoa, is a
portmanteau of solus, meaning
alone or uninhabited, and koa, which
is Hawaiian for warrior.
For years, its equipment has
been contracted with the government and not available to the general public; that is, until 2008, when
it began to offer limited run equipment in three categories: survival
kits, fire starters and SUMA containers. This year, it introduced the
SUMA Professional Personal Sur-

67

ASG_1412_SERE 9/29/14 2:10 AM Page 68

DECEMBER 2014

Big
Survival

68

vival Kit (PSK), 28 professionalgrade survival tools in a compact


nylon bag, aimed at survival and
resistance for those avid outdoorsmen who require a quality kit with
the best Solkoa has to offer.
The nylon pouch holds an orange
emergency blanket, a 60-cubic-inch
waterproof LOKSAK storage bag,
two Fastfire tinders, and the waterproof SUMA container, which holds
everything else. The 6061 anodized
aluminum container is suitable for
cooking (the small holds just over
eight ounces of liquid) and is strong
enough to be used as a digging tool.
It is available in four colors: black,
tan, red, orange, and comes in two
sizes, small (2x4x1 inches) or
large (3x5x1 inches).
For navigation and rescue, an
ACR WW-3 orange whistle rated at
more than 100 decibels and the
credit card-size signal mirror with
reflective tape on its reverse are
included, along with a 14mm compass that glows in the dark.
With long-term survival built into
its design, the PSK is one of the few
that provide first-aid essentials with
the inclusion of 0.5 grams of antibiotic ointment, a small glass pill bottle, and a 2x2-inch medical-grade
pad. There is a 3.5-inch saw blade
with no handle and a compact IDL
multi-tool wrapped in a noise-suppressing piece of inner tube. Made
of stainless steel, it has three screwdrivers, a bottle opener, tweezers,
wire cutters/strippers, a knife, a file
and pliers.
Starting a fire is made easier with
the NATO-type waterproof matches
(with a striker), four pieces of cotton
tinder, a ferro rod, and the credit
card-size fresnel lens. The six water
purification tablets are enough to
clean six liters of water, while the
very complete fishing kit (line,
weights, hooks, and floats) might
help provide a meal. Barring that,
theres a traditional P-38 John
Wayne can opener if youve packed
your own. To see in the dark, the button-style flashlights LED is bright.
A few surprising items are
weather-resistant paper and a

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

small pencil to take notes or write a


short journal, and the 6 feet of highstrength cord and 24 inches of thin
wire can be used the tie up most
anything, while the 2x24 inches of
duct tape has a multitude of uses.
The sewing needle can be coupled
with the fishing line to make clothing repairs or even, perhaps, to close
wounds.
There are many survival kits on
the market, but you would be hardpressed to find one as complete,
compact, and useful as this one.

[ABOVE, TOP] Believe it or not, with the


exception of two Fastfire tinders, the
orange emergency blanket and the 60square-inch waterproof LOKSAK storage bag, everything else pictured here
fits in the small confines of the red
SUMA container.
[ABOVE, BOTTOM] The SUMA container is
strong enough to dig with, but useful as
a cooking vessel. It can hold more than
a cup of water, and the multi-tools pliers make for a great handle.

ASG_1412_SERE 9/29/14 2:10 AM Page 69

[FROM TOP]
The IDL multi-tool
is a survival tool all
on its own.
Wrapped in a noisesuppressing length
of inner tube, it is
stainless steel and
has three screwdrivers, a bottle
opener, tweezers,
wire cutters/
strippers, knife, le,
and pliers.
Included are several ways to start
and maintain a fire,
as there are usually
several situations
in which a fire is
needed, and not all
of them require the
same methods. The
matches and
striker, as well as
the cotton tinder,
are both sealed in a
waterproof bag,
while the FastFire
tinder is individually sealed.
The Fresnel lens
magnifier makes
starting a fire with
the sun quick and
easy. Only a couple
of seconds of exposure started these
leaves smoking. At
the very least, you
should always keep
one of these in your
wallet.
The 14mm button
compass is small
enough to be able
to be hidden in the
case of evasion,
but large enough to
be useful. The cardinal points glow in
the dark.

Components In
The Small Kit:
SUMA container, small
Nylon zipper pouch
Emergency fishing kit
Emergency blanket
Emergency sewing kit
Duct tape
P-38 can opener
Kevlar line
IDL mini multi-tool
Steel wire
Thread/line, 14 pound test
Cotton pad
Antibiotic ointment packet
Personal medicine vial
Button compass
Emergency signaling mirror
Photon II LED micro light
Emergency whistle
Pencil with eraser
Fresnel lens magnifier
Five sheets Rite in the Rain paper
Emergency matches
Four fire tinder tabs
Two fire tinder cubes (FastFire)
Sparking flint rod
Six water purification tablets
Waterproof bag 9x6 inches

Additional
Components In
The Large Kit:
SUMA container, large
Type III nylon cord
Folding razor blade
18mm baseplate compass (replaces button
compass)
Two additional fire tinder cubes (FastFire)
Two additional water purification tablets
Additional waterproof bag 9x10 inches

Specs

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

DECEMBER 2014

SOLKOA SURVIVAL SYSTEMS


SUMA Pro Survival Kit (SUMA PSK)
SolkoaSurvival.com
Size: 8x6x2 inches
Weight: 453 grams (1 pound)
Price: $124.99

69

ASG_1412_BAG 9/29/14 2:12 AM Page 70

Destination:

HOME
PUTTING TOGETHER THE
LAST GET-HOME BAG YOU
WILL EVER NEED
STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHY BY CREEK STEWART

DECEMBER 2014

ou can hear the sirens in the


distance. Your electricity is
out, and your phone has no
dial tone. When you try to
use your cell phone, you get
the same message over and over: All circuits are busy. You know a disaster is
quickly approaching. The eleventh hour is
here. Now, imagine you are not at home
but at work instead, many miles from your
family. As you reach under your desk to
grab your Get-Home Bag (GHB), thoughts
of your wife and children rush through
your mind. Then, you quietly say to yourself, This isnt going to be my typical
commute home today.
As a whole, we spend surprisingly little
time at home. Except for when flying,
youll never find me more than 50 miles
from home without my Get-Home Bag.
Between our time in a vehicle, at work, in
school, running errands, visiting friends,
attending meetings, and making appointments, some of us spend more time away
from home than at home. These countless
hours away from home must be considered when developing your disaster preparedness plan, as it is just a matter of
odds that something will occur when you
are not from home, and you must be
equally prepared.

70

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

ASG_1412_BAG 9/29/14 2:12 AM Page 71

IS A GET-HOME BAG EVEN


NECESSARY?
There is an infinite list of events
that could warrant the use of a gethome bag. Many are regular occurrences. A GHB doesnt have to save
you from the end of the world as we
know it to be a worthy investment.
Even if you never have to put that to
the test, a GHB can provide for you
in countless other less catastrophic
scenarios, such as: car failure,
severe weather, blackouts, terrorist
attack, bridge collapse, road closures, tornadoes, tsunamis, flooding, and winter storms.
Certainly, some disasters are
more devastating than others. Millions of people have found themselves in need of a GHB at some
point in their lives. For some, not
having one has cost them.
Assembling a GHB is not a
daunting task and can easily be
done in one afternoon. For the
investment of time, money, and
energy, I know of very few other
things in life that can have such a
dramatic and lasting effect on your
future than a GHB, should you ever
need to use it.
Below is my list of recommended
GHB supplies. I fully expect for you
to make your own additions and
subtractions from this list. After all,
it is your kit. Different lifestyles,
careers, and environments are all
factors that will dictate the items in
your kit.

WHAT IS A GET-HOME BAG?

DECEMBER 2014

The name says it all. It is a survival kit designed


to get you home in the event that a catastrophic disaster occurs while you are away. In contrast, a BugOut Bag (BOB) is a much more substantial supply
kit (typically 72 hours) and stays at home. Its not
practical to tote your BOB back and forth to work
every day, so the Get-Home Bag bridges that preparedness gap. Depending on the situation, just getting home can be a survival journey in and of itself.
A GHB can take a variety of forms depending on
your personal preference. My GHB is a small backpack; however, you can use a duffel bag, fanny pack,
web-gear, sling pack, and even a spare briefcase
whatever is comfortable and quick to grab at a
moments notice.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

71

ASG_1412_BAG 9/29/14 2:12 AM Page 72

ONE LITER OF WATER IN A


METAL CONTAINER
I suggest a metal container
because it gives you the option to
boil water and/or cook in if necessary. It is also more durable in
extreme conditions. I also carry a
metal cup that fits snugly on the
bottom of my metal Nalgene water
container.

THREE TO SIX ENERGY BARS


Dont over pack with elaborate
meals. High-calorie bars are simple
and sufficient meal substitutes.
They require no heating or preparation. Any meal in your GHB should
be what I refer to as an open and
eat meal.

RAIN PONCHO
I personally use a military version
with grommets in the corners which
can be used as an improvised shelter if necessary. Being wet is not
only miserable, its deadly.
Hypothermia is the number one
killer in the outdoors, and your vulnerability skyrockets when you are
weteven in temperatures as high
as 50 degrees.

LIGHTWEIGHT TARP
I pack this to use as a shelter
canopy. It can also be used as a
ground cover and many things in
between. A colorful version of this
can double as a ground-to-air signal, as well.

DECEMBER 2014

WALKING SHOES/HIKING
BOOTS

72

Especially for people who wear


dress shoes to work, this is a really
important addition. Pack a comfortable pair of tennis shoes at the very
least. As well, a good pair of wool
hiking socks can make a huge difference in any weather environment. I
wear SmartWool brand socks year
round and have found them to be
excellent at wicking in warm
months and insulating in cold. I have
never gotten a blister while wearing
SmartWools, even on extreme hikes.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

ASG_1412_BAG 9/29/14 2:12 AM Page 73

Destination:

HOME

EXTRA CLOTHES
A change of clothes and a pair of
leather gloves allows you to change
out of your suit or work uniform and
into something that offers more
protection and maneuverability.
Consider very plain average man
neutral color clothing to facilitate
blending into crowds if necessary. A
hat to protect from the sun is also a
worthy addition.

FIRE-STARTING TOOLS
AND TINDER
Pick up a couple of Bic cigarette
lighters. They are inexpensive and
dependable. Also pack some firestarting tinder. I prefer the WetFire
brand, but a quick do-it-yourself
substitute is cotton balls soaked in
petroleum jelly. If you need to start a
fire, these two items will get you 98
percent of the way there.

QUALITY MULTI-TOOL
This tool should have a solid
knife blade, a saw blade, pliers, flat
head and cross point drivers, and
wire cutters. When you need one of
these tools, no substitute will quite
do the trick. Many will add a fixedblade knife as well.

HEADLAMP

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

DECEMBER 2014

Pack a good quality, hands-free,


water-resistant headlamp flashlight. Toss in extra batteries as well.

73

ASG_1412_BAG 9/29/14 2:12 AM Page 74

FIRST AID KIT


This mini-kit should include
basic first aid supplies such as bandages, gauze pads, medical tape,
splint, tweezers, lip balm, moleskin,
insect repellant, sunscreen, small
mirror, and a variety of basic medications: aspirin, antacids, Dramamine, etc. If you wear contacts,
be sure to include a back-up pair of
glasses, as well.

HYGIENE KIT
This mini-kit should include
items such as a small towel, toothbrush and toothpaste, a bandana
(multiple uses), toilet paper, and
soap. A pack of disinfecting wet
napkins are perfect for quick spitbaths, and hand sanitizer is always
useful.

EMERGENCY BLANKET
Emergency Mylar blankets are
cheap, lightweight, and compact.
Not only can they save your life in a
cold-weather environment, but they
can also double as a makeshift shelter, waterproof gear cover, and rain
poncho. I prefer the Heatsheet
brand from Adventure Medical Kits.

N95 FACE MASK


Whether from debris, dust, or
sickness, protect your lungs with a
N95 facemask. Your t-shirt will work
in a pinch, but is not nearly as convenient or effective.

SELF-DEFENSE ITEMS

DECEMBER 2014

Disasters are a breeding ground


for frustration, desperation and confrontation. Violent crimes skyrocket
in the aftermath of any large-scale
disaster. Ideally, your self-defense
items should keep some distance
between you and an attacker. Avoid
hand-to-hand combat at all costs. I
pack some pepper spray (attached
with Velcro to the shoulder strap of
my pack) and a compact Kel-Tec P32 Pistol with four extra magazines
(28 rounds) in my GHB.

74

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

ASG_1412_BAG 9/29/14 2:12 AM Page 75

Destination:

HOME

PAPER MAP AND COMPASS


Having a paper map of your surrounding area can be invaluable,
especially in large cities. If you are
trying to get home, so is everyone
else. Expect and plan for detours.
Ideally, you will have marked several alternative routes home from
your place of work. Do not rely on
your cell phone or GPS system, as
those might not be reliable in an
emergency.

CASH MONEY
Unlike credit, cash doesnt need
to communicate with the power
grid, and it speaks everyones language. Pack small denominations in
a variety of places, so as to never
reveal all of your money at once.

PAPER AND PENCIL


Perfect for recording information
or leaving notes. I use the Rite-inthe-Rain brand.

PARACORD
There are 1,000s of uses and 100
feet of it in only a few ounces.

EMERGENCY RADIO
Pick up a small, Dynamo handcrank emergency radio. Make sure it
receives NOAA All Hazard Weather
Alerts. This could be your only
source of disaster-related information in an emergency. Get a model
that has an integrated USB cell
phone charger, a very cool feature.

RESCUE SIGNAL ITEMS

advantage. The only way to increase


your odds of living is to plan and
prepare in advance.
Home not only represents safety
and security but many of us also
have families who depend on our
safe and timely return. When getting
home becomes your first priority,
reach for your get-home bag.
Creek Stewart is the owner and lead survival instructor
at Willow Haven Outdoor in Anderson, Indiana. He is
the author of Build the Perfect Bug-Out Bag and is the
host of The Weather Channels hit survival show Fat
Guys in the Woods.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

DECEMBER 2014

Pack a small signal mirror and


an inexpensive whistle, both can be
used for conveying messages or, at
the very least, marking your location for potential rescuers, if it
comes to that.
The weight of my GHB is only 14
pounds. The items could easily be
packed into a smaller bag, but I like
the flexibility of more space, especially in cold months when I toss in a
heavy fleece, gloves, hat, and shell.

Theres a reason we call it preparedness and not prevention.


Its impossible to prevent unexpected disasters. The world is an
unpredictable place and unfortunate situations are inevitable. However, it is possible to prepare and
increase your chances of safely mitigating a disaster that strikes your
area. Hurricanes, floods, tornadoes,
terrorists, wild fires, plagues and foreign invaders will show you no
mercy. Survival is not about guaranteesthere is always a gamble and
the disaster typically has the house

75

ASG_1412_LOCKDOWN-CX 10/6/14 1:49 AM Page 76

Whatever the situation, be it a natural disaster that inundates your neighborhood


with a toxic cloud of deadly gas, sometimes bugging out isnt an option, and you have
to ride out the catastrophe from the confines of your own home. Are you ready?

Lockdown
SURVIVING THE UNKNOWN IN THE PLACE YOU KNOW BEST: HOME

DECEMBER 2014

Story by Jeff Zurschmeide | Photography by Jeff Zurschmeide and Ryan Lee Price

76

t doesnt matter the situationa


mushroom cloud, a fog of toxic
bromine, or an improbable
uprising of the undeadyouve
been warned not to go outside
your house. Perhaps the authorities
have insisted at gunpoint; it doesnt
even have to be a day of reckoning.
On April 19, 2013, for approximately 12 hours, a stay-in-place
order was given to the greater
Boston area in response to the manhunt for the Boston Marathon
bombers. The end result is that
youre in lockdown. Odds are good
that you dont know why, you dont
know for how long, and, in extreme

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

circumstances of failure of services


like power and cell coverage, you
dont have any way of finding out.
Youll have to make do with what
you have on hand and leave the rest
up to your skills and resources.
Each region of the country experiences its own set of difficulties.
The Gulf Coast and Florida have the
market cornered on hurricanes. The
northeast is wracked with snow and
blizzards. The west frequently sees
droughts and earthquakes. When a
particular region sees a natural disaster thats relatively uncommon for
the area, people are rightfully
shaken up by it.

Equally, most are woefully prepared for it as well. In 1993, a freak


winter storm slammed into
Alabama, dumping nearly six inches
of snow and ice that paralyzed the
region. People were literally stuck in
their homes without services for up
to four days. Most were not prepared for it because they didnt see
it coming; they had never needed to
face such an occurrence, so they
had no resources or stores in place.
In an article called Stop Being a
Pretentious Disaster Snob, Dennis
Mersereau writes: Throw a tornado
at San Franciscans or trigger an
earthquake in Birmingham, and the

ASG_1412_LOCKDOWN 10/1/14 4:22 AM Page 77

residents of each city will lose their


collective minds. People who arent
used to non-native disasters are
going to react differently from you.
Could you and yours last for four
days in your house, cut off from any
and all contact with the outside?
Think about what is in your pantry,
whats left in your fridge (thats getting warmer) and the tools in your
garage that might help you. If your
cupboards are bare, four days can
be a really long time, especially if
you add to it the stress of the
unknown and perhaps the panicked
anxiety that can strike your neighborhood right outside your door.
For most people who prepare for
a crisis, the assumption is that the
best place to be will be far away
from home. Thats because most of
us live in an urban or suburban environment, and when things go
wrong, we know that most cities
have at best a three-day supply of
food on the shelves. The clean
water we expect when we turn on
the tap could go out as quickly as
the lights.
So, we create an escape plan, but
there are many reasons why this
kind of escape plan just might not
be practical. Not everyone can
afford a well-prepped cabin in the
hinter regions and/or the means to
get there. Plus, even the bestprepped person may find that their
escape route is suddenly unavailable. What then if the main part of
your plan is thwarted by a collapsed
bridge or an unruly mob blocking the
only road out of town? When things
are dire and you are forced to stay
put in your house (or if you are physically not allowed to leave), how will
you survive? The answers are different if youre talking about a day, a
week, or a month, but the fundamentals are the same.

Lets get the obvious stuff


hashed out first. You need food and
water sufficient to keep you going as
long as necessary. The U.S. Institute
of Medicine suggests that adult
women consume 91 ounces of
water each day (almost of a gallon), and adult men should plan on
125 ounces, or almost a gallon a day.
Obviously, its possible to survive on
less, but a family of four could justify 50-60 gallon jugs of drinking
water in safe household storage.
Water. Theres no surviving without water, as
you only have a few days at most until you
cant go on without it. At the first sign of
emergency, fill any receptacle with water,
including the bathtubs. Worry about cleaning
the water later.

The tank on the toilet contains


at least a gallon of relatively clean water.

Obviously, you wont be taking


bubble baths if youre relying on
stored water to drink, but one thing
you can do as soon as its apparent
that youll be staying put is to fill
your bathtub and any trash cans or
buckets that will hold water. Turn on
the taps and fill up whatever you
can until the water runs dry.
In a pinch, the water in the top
tank of a toilet is usually clean, provided you havent put any of those
dissolving chemical tablets in there.
You can purify water by boiling it at
a full rolling boil for one minute, or
put -teaspoon of plain unscented
bleach in per gallon and mix thoroughly. Let the bleached water
stand for an hour before you drink it.
TIP: There are about 30 to 50 gallons of
drinkable water in an average home water
heater, and a drain spigot at the bottom.

WHAT WILL YOU EAT?

WATER IS LIFE

Another untapped source is the water heater.


Depending on the size of your tank, most are
at least 40 gallons.

The next thing to consider is food


storage. How long could you live in
your home on the food you have
stored? Remember that the electricity could be out for extended
periods, so anything in the fridge is
going to have to be eaten first, and
then anything in the freezer. Having
a whole side of beef in a freezer in
the garage wont help you at the end
of two weeks in the summer without power.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

DECEMBER 2014

Imagine that something has happened and you need to hunker down
inside your home and survive for a
month. The power, water, and gas
are all out. What you have to live on
is whats in the house with you.

TIP: Use individual sealed gallon jugs


instead of a big tank to reduce the chance of
losing your entire water supply due to contamination. Also, you can buy the jugs a few at
a time, saving a big hit to your budget.

77

ASG_1412_LOCKDOWN-CX 10/6/14 1:49 AM Page 78

what your body sweats out normally. With canned food, youll get
all that and more.

A well-stocked pantry with hearty foods that


have long shelf lives will provide not only a
variety of nutrients but variation to the routine of being locked in.

TIP: Use a Sharpie and write the date of


purchase on every item. Then cycle through
your stock. Pick your oldest cans to make
your dinners, and replace them with new
cans. This naturally replenishes your stock
and youll know how long your supply will
last under normal usage.
The best thing is that this is far
cheaper than buying boxes of prepared camp food or MREs. Those
are for when you have to carry your
food on your back. Plus, you can eat
from your canned stock regularly to
keep it freshor to make your
money stretch a little farther
between paychecks.
TIP: Make sure you have a manual can
opener, a corkscrew, and a knife sharpener.

Some necessary staples are the dry goods.


Not only are they essential to baking, but
salt is a good preservative and bread (at
least dough) can be made with just the
basics of ingredients.

DECEMBER 2014

In a no-power incident, the life of foods in the


fridge can be counted on one hand. Dairy products and meats are the rst to go. Make that
your rst meal, because after a day, at most,
the smell will explain what has happened.

78

For long-term survival, canned


food is your best bet. It will help provide some of your water and salt
needs. You can also buy room-temperature shelf-stable milk that will
keep for up to six months. The Institute of Medicine says that about 20
percent of your water intake can
come from your food, and you need
about 3.8 grams of salt to replace

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

HOW WILL YOU COOK?


Cooking without electricity or
natural gas service generally means
using a camp stove. These are inexpensive on Craigslist and can run on
bottled propane or white gas. In a
pinch, you can use your backyard
propane grill, but always use it outside because it burns a lot of oxygen
and creates a lot of carbon monoxide. Some homes may have a woodburning stove for heat, and these
can often be used for cooking as
well, if its safe to light a fire.
Advanced preparers may purchase RV/Car camping appliances
that plug into the 12-volt outlets in a
car. If you can safely run your car,
there are heating elements, hot
pots, and coffeemakers that use 12volt power.
If you have the means to cook in
your home without electricity or
natural gas service, you can stock up
on appropriate staple ingredients.
Flour, rice, sugar, yeast, dried pasta,
dried beans and peas, and dried
vegetables can all be stored compactly. If you dont know how to
cook using staples, get started
today. Its fun and youll start eating
better right away.

KEEP YOURSELF CLEAN


So we have imagined a situation
where youre stuck in your house for
a month, with a fixed supply of
water and food. Your next challenge
is to keep clean and dispose of
wastes. If its not safe to go outside,
this can prove to be your greatest
challenge. If its not safe out of
doors, even allowing a pile of
garbage bags to stack up under your
back window could be a risk.
If you have a supply of water that
you dont need or cant use for drinking and cooking, such as a rain barrel
or pond, you can flush any toilet with
a gallon or two of water. Just pour it
in the bowl fast enough to make the
flushing action work. The system
relies on gravity, not water pressure.
If you cannot flush your toilets,
things will be a little less pleasant.
Get a 5-gallon bucket with a tightsealing lid from the home supply
store. You can get a toilet seat that
attaches to one of these buckets
from a camping supply store. If you
line the bucket with a plastic trash
bag, use two bags. You really dont
want a spill.
You will still need to maintain
hygiene to keep yourself healthy.
Budget some of your clean water for
brushing your teeth and washing
your face and hands. Washing your
hair is a lower priority, and your
clothes, lower yet. The good news is
you probably wont be doing enough
physical activity to get really dirty.

KEEP YOURSELF WARM


OR COOL
Depending on the time of year
and where you live, surviving without power or gas could be dangerous because of excessive heat or
cold. Either extreme can be life
threatening. If its cold, make sure
you have enough blankets and
clothing to stay warm. If your house
has a wood burning stove, thats
great as long as your supply of wood
holds out. You also have to ask yourself if its safe to have smoke trailing
up from your chimney.
If its hot, find a place in your
home that naturally stays cool

ASG_1412_LOCKDOWN-CX 10/8/14 2:02 AM Page 79

Lockdown

basements are often best for this. A


hand fan and limited clothing can
also help. If its safe to open your
windows, open them at night when
its cooler outside than in your
house, and then close them again in
the morning and close the blinds
and draw the drapes. That will help
trap cool air in the house for the day.

DONT GO CRAZY
The unexpected hard thing about
being shut into your home for an
extended period of time is that its
boring. Especially if the power is out
and theres no TV or movies, no
Internet, no games, and no light in
the evening. If you are not alone,
things wont be so bad, but cabin
fever is real. Make sure that your
house has a good supply of books,
handiwork projects, and other ways
to pass the time. A self-powered or
battery-operated radio is an indispensable tool for getting news

Like combat, survival situations are 99 percent sheer boredom punctuated by one percent of utter terror. Make sure the 99 percent
is filled with something entertaining to pass
the time. A well stocked library will last for
years, if need be.

about conditions outside your


immediate area and maintaining
your sanity.

FIRST AID AND MEDICINES


Your home should have a wellstocked first aid kit in any case, but
its critically important if youre hunkered down. Especially if youre
cooking on a camp stove, you may
end up cutting or burning yourself,

and you may not be able to get to


medical facilities. Your first aid kit
should include a wide array of bandages and tools. OSHA, the Red
Cross, the Mayo Clinic, and REI all
have lists of items to include, and
you can order all kinds of complete
kits online.
TIP: Get a bottle of contact lens saline
solution for rinsing eyes. It keeps for years
and works better than drinking water for
flushing chemicals or particulate material
out of eyes.
While youre thinking about first
aid, be sure you also think about
prescription medicines and other
such supplies. If someone in your
household depends on a particular
prescription or over-the-counter
medication, make sure you always
keep at least a spare months supply
on hand. Dont forget contraceptives, if you use them.

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ASG_1412_LOCKDOWN 10/1/14 4:22 AM Page 80

Lockdown

Santa Cruz
Mountains,
October
1989
By Jeff Zurschneide

With one in three adults taking over-thecounter medication on a regular basis, make
sure to include your pharmacy in your plans.
Special needs individuals (diabetics, severe
allergy suffers) have special medications,
and some of those have a shelf life. Make
sure enough is on hand to reasonably last.

KEEP YOURSELF SECURE


If youre in lockdown in your
home, there has to be a reason. If its
not safe to go outside, then its also
not safe to advertise your presence.
Keep that in mind as you make your
preparations and all your home
maintenance decisions. Do your curtains completely cover your windows and block all light? They
should do both, and they should be
kept closed for as much time as
security demands.
Is your door strong? Steel fire
doors and deadbolts arent completely secure, but simply being difficult to break open is a benefit. The
same is true with windows. Did you
know that you can purchase doublepane windows with an extra-heavy
layer of glass on the outer face? This
is both harder to break and really cuts
down on noise in both directions.

At 5:04 pm on Tuesday,
October 17, 1989, the Loma
Prieta earthquake struck
along part of Californias
extensive San Andreas fault
system. The quake measured 6.9 on the Richter
scale and brought down or
damaged buildings and
roads from San Francisco in
the north, eastward to Oakland, and down to Salinas in
the south. A total of 63 people lost their lives, 3,757
more were injured, and
many roads were destroyed,
blocked, or damaged so
severely that traffic could
not pass.
I lived in the mountains
above Santa Cruz at that
time, and what followed

was an object lesson in


preparation and interdependency. Damage in the
mountains was severe, and
it was apparent that things
were going to be down for a
while. The grocery store and
hardware/lumber yard in
the tiny town of Ben
Lomond had both lost their
storefronts in a hail of broken glass. Homes were similarly damaged.
As I arrived at the cabin
that was my home, my
neighbor met me at my
gatehe had turned off the
natural gas and water lines
outside my house and made
sure my dogs were still in
the yarda true friend!
Other neighbors arrived as
night fell.
No one felt safe indoors,
so the camping gear came
out and tents went up in
every yard. The telephone
system was down and then
overburdened and radio
yielded little in the way of
hard information in the first

TIP: If the electricity is still on, alarm system signs and decals may deter potential
looters, even if you have no actual alarm.

DECEMBER 2014

The rest is simply more common


senseif you wish to appear as
though no one is home, dont let
smoke or steam come out of your
chimneys or stove ventilator. Keep
lights, lamps and candles low or off,
keep quiet, and find a good place to
stash your trash and waste materials.

80

THE BOTTOM LINE


Your home is actually one of the
best places to be if you need to sur-

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

24 hours. However, one


thing was clearwe were
far away from city centers,
so we could be on our own
for quite some time.
In the days following
the quake, we neighbors got
together and pulled down
the most dangerous chimneys that seemed ready to
fall, and we located plywood to seal our homes
against the impending fall
weather. We slept in our
yards for a week while the
aftershocks rolled, we
shared perishable food, and
cleaned up inside and outside our homes. A friend visited without being asked, to
deliver dozens of gallon jugs
of clean water.
The earthquake turned
out to be very survivable,
and was an opportunity to
forge stronger bonds with
neighbors, but what did not
survive the crisis was the
false belief that disaster
cant or wont happen to
anyone at any time.

The usual tools of the survivors trade are a


must, as they are in any situation. Your gobag, your emergency stash of gear, and the
dozens of things you have around the house
just waiting for a situation like this is all part
of the mix. Dont forget light.
Communication is key. Staying informed in
an emergency as best you can is essential to
survival. A multi-band police scanner,
weather radio, or regular frequency radio not
only connects you to the outside world, but
may provide a needed morale boost.

vive for an extended period of time.


Preparing your home for survival is
much easier than preparing and
maintaining a remote site, and your

home is likely to be closer to friends,


family, and sources of help than
other locations. The bottom line is,
you know your own place better
than anyone, all your stuff is already
there, and if you can truly lay low, its
just a matter of waiting out the
problem.

PHOTOS BY THINKSTOCK

ASG_1412_RAIN 10/1/14 4:35 AM Page 81

Avoid
the Drain:
Water
Reclamation
MANKINDS OLDEST TECHNOLOGIES MEET TODAYS MOST BASIC NEEDS
Story by Larry Schwartz
son, they built massive collection systems to capture
and store rainwater during the wet season for use later in
the dry season for drinking and irrigation.
The technology travelled northwest along the trade
routes to Pakistan, where rainfall was infrequent. The
indigenous people, 1,700 years ago, used holding tanks to
capture rainwater from their roofs and other flat surfaces
to hold them over during the periods of drought. By 300
B.C., the Romans had integrated rainwater collection
pools into the design of their atrium-centered houses, an
architectural detail that is still used throughout the
Mediterranean and North Africa today.

BENEFITS AND A CAUTION


In addition to increasing your skill set and capabilities
from a prepping perspective, there are a number of direct
benefits that you get from this practice. Using rainwater
for some of your water needs will definitely help your
pocketbook by reducing your water bill. This reduction in

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

DECEMBER 2014

ater is likely the most important item


when it comes to preparedness and
self-sufficiency. It is also one of the
three things we all depend upon society for power, water, and medical
care. Power and medical care are things that we can all
do something about. Unfortunately, not everyone can
store thousands of gallons of water or dig a well in their
suburban backyard. But you can harvest rainwater to
augment or replace the water you use for some of your
needs. It is also one of the cheapest and easiest things
you can do to help improve your level of self-sufficiency.
Rainwater collection, and its subsequent reuse, is a
technology that is as old as civilization. Wherever people
lived together and faced water shortages they developed
methods for collecting and using what little rainwater
that fell during the year.
In India, 3,000 years ago, where they basically have a
monsoon wet winter season and a very dry summer sea-

81

ASG_1412_RAIN 10/1/14 4:35 AM Page 82

either test it or see if your region has any


problems with acid rain or other pollutants
in the rainwater.
Unless you capture rain straight from the
sky, rather than as runoff from a treated surface like your roof or driveway, you should not
use it for drinking because of the chemicals it
may pick up from the surfaces you collect it
from. It is perfectly suited for things like
watering your plants, laundry, heat-based
cooking, showering, or use in toilets, or washing your car, just not for drinking.
Rainwater collection is in some states or
regions against the law, either by legislation
or regulations. Some municipalities have
well-intentioned regulations that require
homeowners to use the municipal water and
electricity. These were likely put in place to
force developers to provide water and power
for new homes, but it also constrains homeowners who want to be more self-sufficient
through the use of wells or rainwater collection for water and solar panels or windmills
for power.
Several states, mainly in the Western part
of the country, due to frequent drought conditions, place restrictions on what you can
and cannot do with rainwater. So, before you
start your rainwater collection project, give
your local jurisdiction a call and make sure
there arent any administrative hurdles you
have to overcome.

[ABOVE] Method 1, an
individual collection
container under each
downspout is the easiest way to start rainwater collecting.
[RIGHT] Method 2, where
you combine multiple
rainwater capture from
multiple sources or surfaces into a single larger
storage container adds
the benefit of more
water in one location
which simplifies treating and using it.

your costs also helps the community utility


by reducing your demand on it for drinkable
water that you may not have been using for
drinking purposes. Rainwater, because it is
more acidic than treated water from the utility, is actually better for your gardening and
watering needs since it has more of what the
plants need and less of what they dont.
Since you use the water before it winds up
the streams and rivers of the watershed, it
helps reduce the amount of silt and pollutants in the area that gets into the aquifer.
There are three minor cautions you need
to keep in mind if you decide to start capturing rainwater for your use.
Before you drink rainwater you have captured straight from the sky, you should

DECEMBER 2014
82

SIMPLE CAPTURE

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

The very simplest method you can use to


collect rainwater is to just put out pots,
buckets, and watering cans before each
storm to catch it as it falls from the sky and
then transfer it to some storage container.
This isnt a very efficient use of your time
and materials, so most people go with the
approach we have all seen at farmhouses
across the nation, large containers like a
large plastic trashcan or an actual barrel to
hold the rainwater. One of these is placed
under each downspout on the house. The
barrel has a cover on it that either has a
sealed opening in it through which you put
the downspout or a screened hole through
which the water in the downspout flows.
The purpose of the lid and screening is to
keep things out of the captured rainwater.
Although you can always just take off the lid
and dip out the water you need, most rain
barrels have a spigot placed in the bottom
of the rain barrel to give you access to the

PHOTOS BY THINKSTOCK

Water
Reclamation

PHOTOS BY THINKSTOCK

ASG_1412_RAIN 10/1/14 4:35 AM Page 83

[LEFT] The most complicated method, Method


3, integrates systems for
maximizing other natural resources like wind
and solar power in a
green construction
effort that makes the
best of what Mother
Nature offers while also
reducing the cost of
using those natural
resources.
[BELOW] If you are using
a simple barrel for your
container, you need to
ensure you include a
way to filter out insects
and plant material out
of the water you are
storing.

ONE OF THE KEYS TO A CONSOLIDATED COLLECTION SYSTEM IS TO MAKE SURE


YOUR PIPES OR GUTTERS ARE POSITIONED TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF GRAVITY TO
FLOW THE RAINWATER TO THE FINAL COLLECTION CONTAINER.
stored water without removing the lid. Placing the rain barrel on a short elevated platform makes it easier to fill the smaller container when you use the spigot.

The following states and


territories have some form
of regulation on the use of
rainwater. Some constraints are minor and
some are more extensive.
The website,
HarvestH2O.com, has
links that show which
states have regulations
and links to helpful agencies or information for
that state.

SOPHISTICATED SOURCING

effectively you may need to use a pump to


get the rainwater where you want it. This
consolidated approach also allows you to
capture rainwater that pours off the roof
where you dont have (or are not allowed to
place) gutters, from your patio or driveway,
or any other non-permeable surfaces you
may have on the property.
With the additional volume of rainwater
and the cost of the additional materials
used, most homeowners add filters and
purification systems so that they can use the
collected rainwater for drinking as well as
the other purposes listed above. If below

Arizona
California
Colorado
Florida
Georgia
Idaho
Illinois
Minnesota
New Mexico
North Carolina
Ohio
Oregon
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
U.S. Virgin Islands

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

DECEMBER 2014

The next step up in complexity is to transition from individual collection containers


to a consolidated collection system. In addition to only needing one collection container,
this method also gives you access to more
surfaces to collect the rainwater from.
Downspout-based systems only collect
from the part of the roof that has gutters on
it. Water flows off of the surface you are collecting from and empties into galvanized or
PVC pipes which run to a ground-level or
below-ground container, which is normally
approximately 10 times the volume of the
rain barrels described in Method 1. You route
the collection pipes located at each collection surface to intermediate pipes, which
then run into a single pipe that feeds the
rainwater into your collection container.
Another option, instead of eliminating the
individual collection barrels is to connect
those individual barrels to the pipe that goes
to the larger collection container.
One of the keys to a consolidated collection system is to make sure your pipes or
gutters are positioned to take advantage of
gravity to flow the rainwater to the final collection container. Without using gravity

Who Regulates
Rainwater
Capture?

83

ASG_1412_RAIN 10/1/14 4:35 AM Page 84

ground storage is used, a pump, either submerged in the container or placed at ground
level will be needed to extract the rainwater
from the container. While submerged pumps
may be more efficient if they fail, the work
required to get to them in a subterranean
storage container is significant.

HOME INTEGRATION CAPTURE


SYSTEM
The last method for rainwater capture is
to integrate it into your home, either as an
improvement to an existing structure or as
new construction. Not just an addition of
drainpipes and collection tanks, but rainwater collection and use as one of several
methods. Technologies such as wind turbines, solar panels, thermal storage banks,
and water collection and filtration are all
intended to make the best use of existing
natural resources while minimizing the costs
of running the home.
With this integrative approach, the
homes architecture is designed to simplify
the capture and transport of rainwater to
storage tanks that include filtration and
purification functions and pumps to move it
to wherever it is needed.
So, whether you are looking for a way to
cut your water bill, or want to expand your
self-sufficiency, or are looking to build
green home, rainwater collection and use
is a simple and effective way to do all of
these things. You can do it as simply or as
sophisticated as you want, and it wont cost
you an arm and a leg to do it.

Sources

DECEMBER 2014

You can get everything you need to create your rainwater collection system, be it a simple rain barrel
under a downspout or a more sophisticated collection system that ties together multiple collection
surfaces, at your local home improvement store. If
you are less of a DIY type of person and more of a
sell-me-a-kit person, there are a number of websites that offer instructions, videos, and kits to help
you get started. Check out these sites for instructions if you are a DIY type of person or if you want it
pre-packaged for you.

84

HarvestH2O.com
NCSL.org
TheSelfSufficientLiving.com
GardenPool.org

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

What Does It Take To Do The Work?


For the most part, unless you are going for full-blown system integrations, putting a
rainwater collection system in place doesnt take extensive skills or equipment. The
table below lists the basic tools and materials you would need for each of the three
methods shown in this article.
Materials
Container
Spigot
Piping
Brackets
Pumps
Filters
Purification system
Valves
Basic plumbing tools
Basic carpentry tools

Method 1

Method 2

Method 3

[TOP TO BOTTOM]
Rainwater collection in
containers or pools, like
this pool integrated into
a current day atrium in
Venice, is an ancient
technology from 300
B.C. rediscovered for use
today.
When moving up to a
bigger collection container, you can avoid
purchasing a larger container by daisy-chaining
existing smaller containers together.
Rainwater collection
can be as simple and
labor non-intensive as
leaving a large bucket in
your garden. Putting
your watering can in the
bucket can also save you
some steps.

PHOTOS BY THINKSTOCK

Water
Reclamation

ASG_1412_BG_GENERATORS 10/6/14 1:54 AM Page 85

Gear Guide
GENERATORS
Keeping The Lights On
Inverter Versus Conventional Generators: Which Is Best For You?
will see, how much current will be
required of it, and how much you are willing to spend. The inverter generators are
lightweight and very portable. Since size
and weight isnt an issue with conventional generators, they have larger gas
tanks and longer run times than inverters.
However, the inverters have more efficient engines and can adjust the engine
speed based on the load required (conventional generators typically run at
3,600 rpm, regardless). Because of this,
inverters are built to be very quiet, as most
are around 50 decibels, which is about the
same noise as a normal human conversation, while conventional generators are in
the 70-decibel range, which is about the
same sound as a car driving by.
A good thing about inverters is their
ability to be paralleled together to
increase the power output. Most of the
ones featured here can be connected
together via a sold-separately cable to
double their power output (from identical
models). Thats an interesting possibility,
but some appreciate the simplicity of the
conventional generator, which is basically
an engine with an alternator attached.
There are no extra features to go wrong,
and the systems and concepts used are
decades old.
Price is always a huge factor, and
although the price of inverters have come
down in the last few years and will continue to drop as the technology ages, conventional generators provide more power
per dollar than inverters.

DECEMBER 2014

IF A STORM OR OTHER CALAMITY shuts


down power to your home for an undetermined amount of time, there are quite a
few systems that it will eventually
adversely affect, from the food in your
fridge to the climate of your house to the
use of the computer or to keep communications up and running.
We take the grid for granted when it
runs smoothly, but throw in a heat wave or
something slightly more nefarious, and
panic can grip a neighborhood when the
lights go out. Generators can provide a little
piece of mind in an emergency such as this,
and there are many on the market, all offering subtly different features; it is difficult to
tell which one would be right for you. The
generators on these pages are conventional
and inverter generators, the two most common types that offer some portability, relative economy, and the minimum needed
power to operate a few essentials.
Conventional generators have been
around for quite some time, and they consist of a fuel-powered motor running at a
constant speed to produce a standard
current that most houses and appliances
require (120 volts at 60 hertz). If the
engines rpm fluctuates, the output will
also fluctuate.
An inverter generator is somewhat of a
new technology, taking advanced circuitry
and magnets that create three-phase AC
current, converted to DC, and then
inverted back to AC as a single phase current. Which one is better can only be
answered by what usage the generator

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

85

ASG_1412_BG_GENERATORS 10/1/14 4:40 AM Page 86

Gear
Guide

GENERATORS

This Honda EU2000i inverter


generator is very quiet, easy to
carry, and fuel efficient, making
it ideal for TVs, small appliances,
and basic lights. The stable
power allows for safe use of
computers and other sensitive
electronics. With a very low 59
decibels at max power, it is perfect for an inconspicuous source
of power. It is small, about the
size of a gym bag, and light, at
only 47 pounds. It can last nearly
10 hours on one gallon of gas
and can provide 1,600 watts of
continuous power.

DECEMBER 2014

I N V E RT E R

Honda EU2000i

86

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

Powerhouse
Inverter

Powerhouse
PH2100PRi

With up to 2,000 surge watts


and 1,600 watts of continuous
power, this is a lightweight and
easily portable generator. It specializes at powering computers
and other sensitive electronics
without interruptions, but its 52
decibels means that its quiet as
well. The various speed of its
engine (a quality of inverters)
reduces fuel consumption, while
its spark arrestor is U.S. Forestryapproved for use in parks and
forests. Its 1.12-gallon fuel tank
will last for more than eight
hours at quarter power.

The fuel economy switch on this


unit extends the run time, while
the low oil shutdown feature
protects the engine in the event
there is an oil consumption issue.
It works at a various engine
speed to produce a very constant
120 volts at 60 hertz, and has a
remote electric start with a recoil
backup. Slightly noisier that others in its class, it has a
respectable run time and can be
paralleled (cable included).

Generac iX2000
Rated at 2,000 watts of continuous power (2,200 surge), it has
the largest engine displacement
(127cc) with the lowest run time
(5 13 hours at quarter time), but
this is in part to its small fuel
tank (one gallon) coupled with
the large displacement. It has an
electronic overload protection
circuit breaker for its three receptacles, while the LEDs display
the status of the generator. It
can also be used to charge 12volt batteries.

ASG_1412_BG_GENERATORS 10/8/14 12:15 AM Page 87

GENERATORS Gear
Guide

HOW MANY WATTS


DO YOU NEED?

Category 5
Inverter
Rated at 2,000 surge watts and
1,700 continuous watts, this
inverter is lightweight at 53
pounds and runs at a very quiet
53 decibels. Its one-gallon fuel
tank provides its 79cc engine a
long run time of over nine hours.
The case is designed to be safely
stackable, so several units can be
paralleled together to increase
overall output. A 12-volt battery
charging cable is included.

Honda EU3000is
This inverter shares the top spot
with the Northstar conventional
generator as the most expensive,
flipping the bill at nearly $2,000.
For that money, you get the
longest run time (20 hours) and
the most continuous power
(2,800 watts) with the largest
gas tank and the quietest motor
(a whispering 49 decibels). It is
CARB-compliant and can be sold
in all 50 states, has an electric
start, and two handles for easy
loading (though it is over double
the girth of other inverters on
the list).

ONE OF THE BEST pieces of advice you can find to help you buy
the generator that is right for you is to answer the question: Why
do you need a generator? If youre simply plugging in a lamp to
light a campsite or you cant miss your favorite TV show, even in a
complete grid failure, you might need a small generator, one with
around 1,200 watts. However, if you need to run several computers, an A/C, three spotlights to watch the fence line, and power a
full satellite system for communications, you might look at the
generators that provide higher wattage.
To figure out the exact amount, find out how many watts each
individual appliance uses. Add them all up and find a generator
that has a wattage rating that matches. Remember to take into
consideration that some appliances with electric motors require
additional wattage (surge) at startup to run properly. Since tools
and appliances use 120 volts, and a generators power is measured
in amps, remember that amps x volts = watts.

Appliance
Coffee maker
Dishwasher

Continuous
Watts

Surge
Watts

1,750

700

1,400

Electric fry pan

1,300

Electric range: 8-inch element

2,100

Microwave (typical size)

625

800

Refrigerator or freezer

700

2,200

Clothes washer

1,150

2,300

Clothes dryer (electric)

1,800

5,750

Furnace fan (as): 18 hp

300

500

Lights (watts listed on bulb)

100

Radio

150

800

1,300

Sump pump: 13 hp
Television
Room air conditioner: 10,000 BTU
Central air conditioner

300

1,500

2,200

10,000

11,250

Circular saw

1,400

2,300

Table saw

1,800

4,500

700

Monitor

250

Laptop computer

250

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

DECEMBER 2014

Desktop computer

87

ASG_1412_BG_GENERATORS 10/1/14 4:40 AM Page 88

GENERATORS

Manufacturer

Model

Type

Surge
Watts

Rated
Watts

Start
Type

Disp.
(cc)

HP

Engine

Honda

EU2000i

Inverter

2000

1600

Recoil

98

n/a

OHC

Powerhorse

Inverter

Inverter

2000

1600

Recoil

80

n/a

n/a

Powerhouse

PH2100PRi

Inverter

2100

2000

Electric/recoil

125

4.35

OCV

Generac

iX2000

Inverter

2200

2000

Recoil

127

n/a

OHV

Category 5

Inverter

Inverter

2000

1700

Recoil

79

n/a

OHV

Honda

EU3000is

Inverter

3000

2800

Electric/recoil

196

n/a

na

Northstar

8000

Conventional

8000

6600

Electric/recoil

389

11.7

OHV

Generac

XG6500

Conventional

8125

6500

Recoil

407

n/a

OHV

Honda

EB3000C

Conventional

3000

2600

Recoil

196

n/a

OHV

10

All-Power American

1000

Conventional

1200

1000

Recoil

n/a

2.5

n/a

11

Powermate

1200

Conventional

1500

1200

Recoil

99

OHV

12

Category5

Electric Start

Conventional

4000

3500

Electric/recoil

n/a

OHV

88

196

Northstar 8000

Generac XG6500

Honda EB3000C

This conventional generator is at


the top end of the price range, at
nearly $2,000 as well, but it uses
the Honda GX390 OHV engine as
its power source, and provides
the most outlets of any model
on the list (10, including four
duplex). The unit is wrapped in a
full roll cage and has a solid base
to prevent dirt and debris from
getting into the engine. It is
designed to cut down on vibration, but it is the noisiest on the
list (at 74.5 decibels). The 11-hp
engine uses up its 6.5 gallons of
gas in 10 hours (at half load).

This model tips the scales as the


heaviest conventional generator
on the list, at 230 pounds, but
provides one of the longest running times at 13 hours (at half
load), producing 6,500 watts of
continuous power. It has the
largest displacement engine
with the biggest gas tank. It
starts with a pull cord (recoil
start) and has five receptacles.

This Honda EB3000C conventional generator features an


easy-starting Honda OHV engine
that creates 2,600 watts of continuous power from its 196cc
engine, humming at 68 decibels.
The 2.7 gallons of gas are used in
just over nine hours at half load.
The outlets (1 duplex) are GFCI
protected, and the generator
uses a special CPU to create stable, high quality power with less
weight, compared to a traditional generator.

DECEMBER 2014

CONVENTIONAL

Gear
Guide

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

ASG_1412_BG_GENERATORS 10/1/14 4:40 AM Page 89

GENERATORS Gear
Guide

Run Time

Receptacles
Ready

Parallel

Noise
(dB)

Fuel

Capacity
(gal)

Low Oil
Shutdown

958 hrs. @ 14 load

yes

59

gas

1.00

yes

2018 x 1125 x 1634

47

$999.99

8 2 hrs. @ 4 load

yes

52

gas

1.12

yes

19 8 x 11 4 x 17 10

55

$599.99

712 hrs. @ 14 load

yes

66

gas

1.30

yes

22 x 11 x 19

85

$610.00

513 hrs @ 14 load

n/a

n/a

gas

1.00

yes

22 x 12 x 18

61

$589.00

9 2 hrs. @ 4 load

yes

53

gas

1.00

yes

21 2 x 16 4 x 18 2

53

$699.99

20 hrs. @ 4 load

yes

49

gas

3.51

yes

25.8 x 18.9 x 22.4

144

$1,999.99

10 hrs @ 12 load

10

n/a

74.5

gas

6.50

yes

2534 x 2114 x 2214

206

$1,999.99

13 hrs @ 12 load

n/a

n/a

gas

9.00

yes

3112 x 25 x 27

230

$1,059.00

9.4 hrs @ 2 load

n/a

68

gas

2.70

n/a

17 2 x 15 8 x 19

81

$1,599.99

8 2 hrs. @ 2 load

n/a

65

gas

1.30

yes

15 x 11 2 x 13 2

53

$319.99

912 hrs. @ 12 load

n/a

70

gas

1.00

yes

2038 x 151316 x 1818

64

$329.99

12 hrs @ 12 load

n/a

68

gas

4.00

yes

2812 x 2034 x 2018

138

$549.99

All-Power America
This All-Power America conventional generator is environmentally friendly and complies with
CARB requirements, along with
having the EPAs approval. The
2.5-hp engine provides 1,200
surge watts and 1,000 rated
watts, as the 1.3-gallon fuel tank
allows for a run time of more
than eight hours at half load. It
features a 120-volt outlet and
one integrated 12-volt DC outlet,
along with an integrated 12-volt,
15 peak amp DC trickle battery
charger with cables.

Dimensions
(inches)

Weight
(lbs)

MSRP

Powermate
PM0141200

Category 5
Electric Start

Rated at 1,200 watts of continuous power, the 60-pound Powermate conventional generator
has a manual start (recoil) and a
1.5-gallon fuel tank that will
keep the generator running for
nearly 10 hours at half load. It
supports a single duplex plug
and a 120-volt DC outlet. Accessories included are a DC battery
cable, oil, funnel, and a small
tool kit. The roll cage is designed
for protection, stability, and
maneuverability.

This conventional generator


enjoys a wireless remote control
for increased convenience, while
the easy-to-read Intelligauge
display shows output voltage,
frequency, and operating hours.
The electric start with a recoil
backup starts the 196cc engine,
which can run for 12 hours at half
load on its four gallons of gas. It
is one of the heavier models, but
lands in the middle on size.

DECEMBER 2014

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

89

ASG_1412_INTRO_BACK-CX 10/6/14 2:10 AM Page 90

BACKCOUNTRY
IN THIS SECTION

CELL PHONE SURVIVAL + TARP SHELTERS + CLOUDS 101 + HEATSTROKE

Bushcraft

DECEMBER 2014

A Movement Of Survivalists Thats Evolved Into A Mindset

90

SOME TAKE A SPECIAL PRIDE in being able to live off of the land, to procure their own food,
build their own shelter, and thrive comfortably while doing so. Some were made for that kind
of life with thoughts in mind that one day they may need these skills to exist. Some do it just
for fun, while others have incorporated into their camping routine. In English-speaking countries for the last 10 years, the concept of bushcraft has been growing in popularity as a
movement of men whose survival skills have developed into a lifestyle.
Started by a survivalist, Major Leslie James Hiddins, in Australia, bushcraft is a mindset
based on a series of learned skills. It challenges a person already equipped with a well developed determination to survive adversity in the backcountry to develop the skills to back up
that spirit. A person who has accepted the philosophy of bushcraft as part of his or her
lifestyle has accepted that, in order to accomplish the simple goal of survival, they first have
to learn a different way of living. They must learn bushcraft skills.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

ASG_1412_HEATSTROKE 9/29/14 2:15 AM Page 91

White
Hot
Killer

COMBATING
HEAT-RELATED
ILLNESSES

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

DECEMBER 2014

Story and Photography by


Jeff Zurschmeide

good sunny day can be a great day for the beach or getting things
done around the house, but we often dont realize how deadly
heat can be and how quickly it can affect you. We usually call it
heat stroke, but thats not entirely accurate. Heat stroke is just
one of several threats known as heat-related illness.
On average, 675 Americans die every year from preventable heat-related
illness. Most of the dead are elderly, or infants, and children. But anyone who
works or plays outdoors, those without adequate access to shelter, and people
who have been weakened by medical conditions are also very much at risk.

91

ASG_1412_HEATSTROKE 9/29/14 2:15 AM Page 92

Every summer you see the


stories about children
who died because their
parents left them in the
car on a hot day. The sad
statistics offer a basic lesson in heat safety: Never
leave any living thing
inside a parked car.
Even overcast days
can make an enclosed car
dangerously warm, and
opening the windows or
sunroof may not make
enough difference. If the
outside temperature is 90
degrees, temperatures
inside a parked car reach
109 degrees in 10 minutes,
124 degrees in half an
hour, and up to 138
degrees in 90 minutes.
An enclosed car is a
perfect solar oven. The
cars body absorbs and
retains heat, while the
window glass lets in both
heat and UV light. The
combination is deadly.

Look Out For Yourself And Others


One good reason to be prepared for any
eventuality is to have the ability to help others in a crisis. A hot summer day may not feel
like a crisis to you, but it can be for others.
Heat-related illness is most dangerous for
children and the elderly, those who may not
be able to recognize the signs and treat themselves. So its a kindness that may save lives
to simply call or look in on relatives, friends
and neighbors who may be at risk.

is the usual cause of syncope, but you can


also feel this from a bad sunburn, even on an
overcast day. Or, when you walk out into
extreme heat from an air-conditioned building, a wave of dizziness can strike. Thats a
form of syncope, too.
The solution to syncope is much the same
as for all heat-related illness: restin a cool
place, if possibleand drink more fluids. If
the symptoms do not pass within an hour,
seek medical attention.

Know The Signs And Know What To Do

Heat Exhaustion

Its not hard to recognize the signs of


heat-related illness. Weve all been there at
one time or another. Well look at each category in order of severity, from the early
warning signs to the life-threatening
events, but the basic treatment is
always the same:

Heat exhaustion is closely related to heat


faintingand fainting is usually part of a
heat-exhaustion event. Heat exhaustion happens when the initial signs of heat-related illness have been ignored and the body suffers excessive dehydration. Heat
exhaustion strikes some people harder and faster than
others. The elderly and
those who are overweight or have heart
conditions or high
blood pressure are
particularly prone to
heat exhaustion, so if
someone you know is
at greater risk, keep a
closer eye on that.
Heat exhaustion is
characterized by extreme
sweating and moist skin,
weakness, dizziness or sleepiness, confusion, muscle cramps, and
nausea or vomiting. The victim may have a
ruddy or pale look compared to normal,
breathing may be fast and shallow, and he or
she may be running a slight fever.
The treatment is similar to the less severe
symptoms, but immediate and more intense
care is needed at this point. Get the victim to
shade or indoors to a cool area. Offer them
coolbut not coldwater, juice, or sports
drink. Cool the victim by applying watersoaked cloths, or get the victim into a cool
shower or bath. If possible, seek medical help
immediately.

1_Stop all activity and


rest in a cool, or at
least shady, place to
cool the body.
2_Drink good fluids
water, juice, or
electrolyte sports
drinks.
3_Determine whether
medical attention is
necessary.

Heat Cramps
Heat cramps are among the
first signs of heat-related illness.
When fluid loss from sweating and evaporation depletes the bodys salt and water
reserves, muscles respond by cramping.
Most often, this happens in the legs, arms,
and midsection. Its important to remember that these are not ordinary cramps,
and that if left unaddressed, the sufIf you have had a hard day
ferer will proceed rapidly towards lifewith the heat or received a
threatening events.
severe sunburn, consider
To treat heat cramps, follow the
having some soup or broth
basic
steps and get the victim to a
with your dinner to
cooler
place,
drink plenty of good fluids,
replenish salts.
and allow the victim to rest. If you do
these things but the cramps are still happening after an hour, seek medical attention and
get the victim to drink more fluids.

TIP

Heat Fainting
DECEMBER 2014

Fainting or passing out from the heat is


technically called heat syncope. This is
often preceded by dizziness or nausea. Heat

92

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

The Worst: Heat Stroke


When heat-related illness becomes immediately life threatening, we call it heat stroke.
Heat stroke is when the victims ability to
sweat breaks down, leading to severe body
temperature spikes. A victim of heat stroke
may have his or her body temperature rise to

PHOTOS BY THINKSTOCK

A Car Is A
Solar Oven

ASG_1412_HEATSTROKE 9/29/14 2:15 AM Page 93

related illness. Increased physical activity,


lack of access to drinkable fluids, and no way
to stay cool all contribute to greater danger
from the heat.
Heres how to care for yourself before you
are hit with heat-related illness:

106 degrees within minutes. Brain damage,


organ damage, and death are imminent.
Immediate first aid and medical attention are
critical at this point.
Everyone should recognize the signs of
heat stroke. Usually, a victim will have hot,
dry skin, but in early stages they may still be
sweating. Hallucinations, difficulty speaking,
confusion, dizziness or fainting are also likely
to be presented. Physically, the victim may
be experiencing chills or pain, particularly
headaches.
Time is critical when dealing with heat
stroke. Call 911 (if available) immediately
and inform the operator that youre treating
heat stroke. As with lesser heat maladies, get
the victim into shade and cool their body by
any means available. This may include soaking the victim with available water, or simply
fanning them with cooler air. Victims may or
may not be able to drink at this point. Medical care will be a necessity if at all possible.

If Youre Always Outdoors


People who are spending significant time
outdoors are more likely to suffer from heat-

Obviously, the best way to


treat heat-related health
hazards is to never let

TIP

Beat The Heat


Human beings have survived in hot climates since the dawn of time. If we follow
the basic rules that our grandparents knew
before the existence of air conditioning, its
quite possible to avoid heat-related illness.
Most importantly, drink plenty of water and
let your bodys cooling system work. Then be
reasonable about what you choose to do in
direct sunlight. When fighting the heat, a little common sense goes a long way.

them develop. The CDC


has a few common sense
tips to prevent heatrelated illness:
Drink more good fluidsmeaning drinks without alcohol, large
amounts of sugar, or caffeine. While a beer or a
soda may feel good, they
have a diuretic effect.
Plain water is what you

need. If the water has


electrolytes in it, thats
good, too.
Keep yourself out of
direct sun. Find some
shade or better yet, find a
place to be indoors. Cities
often operate heat shelters during high temperatures. Public libraries and
shopping malls (if available) are always air-con-

ditioned. You can also


take a cool shower or
bath.
Choose loose and lightweight clothing in a light
color for air circulation
and reflecting sunlight. A
wide-brimmed hat will
keep the sun off your face.
Wear broad-spectrum
sunscreen to prevent UV
burns.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

DECEMBER 2014

PHOTOS BY THINKSTOCK

An
Ounce Of
Prevention
Is Worth
A Pound
Of Cure

1_Drink water instead of anything with alcohol or soda. Sports drinks are okay. You
need about a pint to a quart every hour.
Start drinking before you feel hot and
thirsty.
2_Use sunscreen according to the recommendations on the package. Be sure
to reapply it if youre sweating. If
youre on the water, be aware
Make a swamp cooler by
that UV light reflects up from
hanging a wet towel or washthe water.
cloth in front of a box fan. The
3_Try to do strenuous work or
evaporation of the water helps
travel in the early morning or
cool the air blown through the
at dusk when temperatures are
fan and can help keep a
cooler.
room cool.
4_Wear your hat, and preferably
one with a wide brim all the way
around. It really helps to keep your
scalp, ears, neck, and face out of direct sun
as much as possible.
5_Find a place to stay cool in the heat of the day.

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Cell Phone

Survival

SIX WAYS YOUR CELL PHONE CAN SAVE YOUR LIFE

DECEMBER 2014

STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHY BY CREEK STEWART

94

o you ever leave home without your cell phone?


For most of us, the answer these days is no,
unless it is by accident. I think Id be more comfortable leaving home without my pants. The
cell phone has become our portal to the world,
and whether in a boat, on a plane, traveling through Africa,
taking a road trip, or backpacking the Rockies, our cell phone
has become a regular piece of Every Day Carry (EDC). Indeed,
we will probably have our cell phone with us if ever faced
with a tragic survival situation.
Its not hard to imagine that it probably wont be working
when we really need it to. Grid shutdown, EMP knocked out
all electronics, or just a dead battery, the cellular system is a
fragile thing, especially in an emergency. Regardless of the
reason, a dead cell phone has an amazing collection of pieces
and parts that, with a little insight and creativity, can be used
to help meet a surprising number of basic survival needs.
Obviously, intentionally busting open your number one communication tool is an absolute last resort.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

ASG_1412_CELLPHONE 9/29/14 2:17 AM Page 95

SURVIVAL SIGNAL MIRROR


Each of the cell phones I cracked
open had metallic, mirror-like layers
of material behind the screens.
These can function as a perfect survival signal mirror. The reflection
from a mirror can be seen for miles
by land-, air-, or water-rescue crews.
This method of signaling has saved
the lives of many survivors in history.
You can even use the reflection from
a bright moon to make a flash at
night. I made a more workable signal mirror by gluing with some
pinesap the reflective pieces to a
hunk of bark.
Aiming an improvised signal mirror requires a little finesse. Simply
hold up your peace sign and eyeball
your target (the rescue crew) inbetween your fingers. Then, flash
the suns reflection across your fingers. You can see the reflection on
your fingers, which ensures you are
also flashing your target.

NAVIGATION

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

C
o
t

DECEMBER 2014

Most speakers (if not all of


them) contain a magnet. All of the
cell phones I opened contained a
magnet with the speaker portion of
the phone. All of the phones also
contained countless little pieces of
wire that I could magnetize; it must
be a ferrous metal wirecopper will
not work. With these two items, you
can make a very accurate improvised compass.
Sweep the magnet across the
metal wire in the same direction 10
or so times. Make a mental note of
the direction you are sweeping the
magnet as it has to be in the same
direction in order to work. The swept
end is the end of the wire that will
point north. You can then float this
metal wire on a small leaf or shaving of wood in a small pool of water.
It must be a completely undisturbed
pool of water with no current so as
to not affect the results. The wire
will align itself with the north/south
line with the end you swept along
the magnet pointing north (in the
Northern Hemisphere). Right of
north is east, and left of north is
west. Now you know direction.

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Cell Phone
Survival
SPEAR POINTS AND CUTTING TOOLS
Each cell phone also had a circuit board. I
used the circuit board from a SmartPhone to
make two very useful items to a survivor. I
noticed that when I scraped the edges of the circuit board against a smooth rock it actually
ground down to a fairly decent cutting edge. I
used half of the circuit board to make a useful
cutting tool, which I used to gather and scrape a
pile of very fine fire tinder shavings from a dried
Mullein stalk. This crude cutting tool can be used
for a variety of other survival chores as well,
including field dressing small game or fish.
I then shaped the other half of the circuit
board into an arrowhead spear point, which I
lashed onto the end of a willow shaft using some
natural cordage I gathered. I scraped the edges of
this point against a smooth stone to sharpen it.
Ive made many makeshift gigs and spears in my
life, and I have no doubt that this point can do
some serious damage, either in self-defense or in
food procurement.
I was also able to make a backup gig by folding and pounding (using two rocks) a small, thin
piece of metal into another arrowhead-shaped
point. This is incredibly sharp and is very similar
to a makeshift broad head.

CELL PHONE FIRE

DECEMBER 2014

Probably the most valuable piece of a broken cell phone to a survivor is the battery.
Almost any battery can be short-circuited to
generate either a spark or a hot enough wire to
ignite flammable tinder. Fire can be used in a
survival situation to signal for help, boil water,
regulate core body temperature, make tools,
fend off predators, and cook food.
Everyone has seen the old, steel wool fire
trick. Steel wool ignites very quickly when
brushed across the positive and negative terminals on a cell phone battery, but it isnt likely
you are going to have some steel wool with you
in a survival situation.
However, I used thin wire that I found inside
a cell phone to connect (and short circuit) the
cell phone battery. It almost instantly turned
red hot when I touch it simultaneously to the
positive and negative terminals. I had to peel
off the batterys outer coating to do this. Make
sure you have your fire tinder ready because it
doesnt last long and is almost certainly a oneshot chance. This red-hot wire can be used to
ignite natural tinder such as dried seedpods, or
perhaps some pocket lint or a cotton ball.

96

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

ASG_1412_CELLPHONE 9/29/14 2:18 AM Page 97

FISHING LURES
As I looked at the pile of cell phone
parts in front of me, some looked surprisingly similar to fish tackle lures, so I
went to work and quickly created these
four fishing lures.
The most basic lure is a gorge. This is
a classic survival fishing hook, and rather
than hooking a fish, it gorges itself in the
fishs throat. It is simply a small sliver of
metal that is sharp on both ends. Primitive cultures often carved gorge lures
from bamboo and bone. It must be
baited in parallel with the fish line. Once
the fish swallows the bait and the line is
pulled taut, the gorge pivots on the line
and lodges itself in the throat. I counted
as many as 20 gorge lures in one phone.
With enough cordage, you could set out
several fishing lines to work for you.

SURVIVAL SMALL GAME SNARE

Obviously, your cell phone should only be dismantled as an absolute


last resort option in a survival scenario. Even when there seems to be no
signal, your phone might be able to register a ping from nearby cell
phone towers that can be used by first responders to track your general
location. But, if its already broken or the battery has gone dead, one of
these tricks just might save your life.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

DECEMBER 2014

Do you use wired headphones with


your phone, or perhaps you have your
mp3 player with you as well and it has
headphones? If so, this use might come
in handy. A small game survival snare
can be made using the wire from a pair
of headphones. Setting snares allows
you to focus on other survival priorities;
instead of the headphones playing your
music, let them hunt for you. This wire
can also be used for a variety of other
projects that might require cordage.

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ASG_1412_CLOUDS 9/29/14 2:19 AM Page 98

The Future
is in the

Clouds
USING CLOUDS TO PREDICT THE WEATHER

DECEMBER 2014

Story by Ryan Lee Price | Photography by Richard Birt and Ryan Lee Price

98

On a warm evening in 1802, upstairs from a laboratory at 2


Plough Court in London, 30-year-old Luke Howard, a chemist and
amateur meteorologist, rose before the Askesian Societya jovial
group of scientists whose irreverence was only matched by their affinity to inhale laughing gas for amusementand presented his essay
called On the Modification of Clouds, where the Latin terms stratus,
cirrus, and cumulus were first used.
With this, Howard became known as the father of clouds, and
although the connection between clouds and the weather had been
around for thousands of years, finally there was a universal naming
system and, most importantly, it was in Latin. Today, the plaque on
AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

Howards house reads: The Namer of clouds


lived and died here.
For modern human beings, checking tomorrows weather is as easy a clicking an app on
their phones or watching the evening news, but
spend any amount of time high in the mountains and out of reach of modern methods of
communications that we take for granted, and
youll soon discover that the weather can
change dramatically in a matter of hours, if not
minutes. Sunny one moment, gale-force rains

ASG_1412_CLOUDS 9/29/14 2:20 AM Page 99

the next. Being prepared for any situation is


all about reading the signs that hint at what
the future holds, and when it comes to
weather, the future is in the clouds.
Essentially, meteorology is the study of
the airs effect on the environment and the
various natural elements that affect the air
temperature, humidity, wind, and pressure.
These elements, since the dawn of civilized
man, have exerted a profound influence on
the habitability and civilization of the very
planet. To a professional meteorologist, the
observation of the types of clouds and the
forms of precipitation are one of the most
important readings they can observe, so it
stands to good reason that even a casual
observerespecially one in a survival situationwould gain from knowing the physical
process of the atmosphere.

PREDICTING THE WEATHER


It isnt too difficult to predict the weather
if youre in familiar territory. Near your
home base, the weather today will probably
be similar to what it was yesterday. But
remove yourself from your familiar territory
and the weather will be as foreign as if it
were another planet. It is important to understand the movement and formation of the
clouds as a clear signal to decide whether
youll be building a shelter out of branches
and leaves or an ark out of logs and mud.

CLASSIFICATION OF CLOUDS
From the ground, clouds can be divided
into four main groups based on their structure and location: cirrus, alto, stratus, and
cumulus. These basic forms may be present
simultaneously, evolve from one form to
another, and combine into various permutations, but elevation is a predominate factor in
classifying clouds: Cirrus clouds occur only in
the upper part of the troposphere, while stratus occur only at the lower levels. However,
the tops of cumulus clouds may thrust up to
the levels of cirrus territory, while the bases
are only a few hundred feet off of the ground.

HIGH-LEVEL CLOUDS

Why
Does
It Rain?
It is common to see a
cloud exist for a couple of
days without releasing
any rain, but on other
occasions, a heavy downpour will seem like it came
out of nowhere. Water
droplets in clouds form via
two processes that might
lead to rain: ice crystal
and capture.
Ice Crystal: When air
rises, it cools by expansion
and as it cools, relative
humidity increases. When
the air reaches saturation
(of moisture), cloud
droplets form.
Capture: As clouds
rise high into the sky, they
allow some moisture to
escape and as it falls, it
collides with other water
droplets to create larger
droplets in a cloud that is
not a rain cloud.
There are a variety of
methods that lead to
rainfall, but the most
common is coalescence,
where tiny water droplets
fuse with each other to
form larger and larger
droplets until their weight
is greater than the force of
air resistance that keeps
them aloft.
Depending on temperature and altitude of
the cloud, water droplets
can be as large as 5 mm in
diameter when they fall. A
large raindrop like this will
reach a terminal velocity
of around 20 mph when it
hits the ground.

Cirrostratus

Cirrocumulus

As these feathery clouds spread across the


sky, it usually indicates that fair weather is
upon you. These clouds rarely gather
together, but a gradual increase of cirrus
cover indicates that a warm front is moving
in. Because cirrus clouds are quick moving,
use them to find out from which direction.
Cirrus clouds indicate a change in the
weather, usually within a day.
Cirrostratus: Cirrus, meaning curled hair,
and stratus, meaning layered, a cirrostratus is
a very thin high-altitude cloud that uniformly
covers the sky in layers like a light gray veil.
These clouds will usually give the sky a uniformly milky appearance or sometimes a
slightly fibrous, like a thin, tangled web.
When these light, pale veil clouds blanket
across the sky, rain is on its way within a day
or so.
Cirrocumulus: These clouds are named
from a combination of cirrus (wisps of curled
hair) and cumulus, meaning heap. These
clouds are a larger collection of layered cirrus
clouds forming light heaps, which have been
described resembling white flakes of lambs
wool or the scales of a fish (specifically a
mackerel) across the sky.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

DECEMBER 2014

Cirrus: From the Latin meaning a curling


lock of hair, these are the highest forming
clouds in the sky. Their main characteristics
are that they consist of fine ice crystals and
that they have a fibrous structure and wispy
streaks in appearance. Sometimes referred to
mares tails, they drift rapidly across the
sky on high-altitude winds.

Cirrus

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Altocumulus

DECEMBER 2014

Flash Floods

100

Flash flooding is a major


killer; what looks like a little bit of moving water
can have a serious undertow that can easily sweep
you or your car away.
Because most storms
occur at night, flash
floods are also frequently
at night, which makes
them more difficult to see.
> Do not attempt to drive
or walk across a flooded
roadway or low water
crossing. Nearly half of
all flash flood deaths
are vehicle-related.
Moving water 2-feet
deep can carry away
most cars.
> If your vehicle becomes
caught in high water
and stalls, leave it
immediately and seek
higher ground if you can
do so safely. Rapidly rising water may sweep a
vehicle and its occupants away.
> When the threat of a
flash flood is evident (a
dry season followed by
the first heavy rain), be
aware of your location
and head to higher
ground. If water looks
like it has been there
before (e.g. dried creek
bed, collected drift
logs), a flash flood will
likely choose the same
course again.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

When old folks look at the clouds and


remark, Mackerel sky, storm is nigh, they
are looking at cirrocumulus clouds. Although
a rainstorm usually isnt nigh, it indicates a
cold front for most of the country and a hurricane in tropical regions.

MEDIUM-LEVEL CLOUDS
Altocumulus: Meaning middle-layer
heaps, these differ from cirrocumulus in that
the bundles of clouds are larger, more
defined, and arranged in banks. It will
appear as though a fleece blanket has been
pulled across the sky.
Not to be confused with the mackerel
sky appearance of the cirrocumulus, the

Altostratus

altocumulus is at a lower altitude and has


larger bundles. Warm, humid and sticky
days will produce altocumulus and thunderstorms will likely be present by the afternoon
or evening.
Altostratus: Meaning middle-altitude
layers, altostratus clouds are dense sheets of
gray or bluish clouds showing a fibrous structure. Though the sun can be discerned
through them, they are darker than cirrostratus and can block out the sun.

LOW-LEVEL CLOUDS
Stratocumulus: Formed by air turbulence, these are a low cloud layer consisting
of large lumpy masses of a dull grey color.

LIGHTNING
SAFETY
Lightning occurs in all thunderstorms, and it is also a significant
threat to life, as it kills nearly
24,000 around the world each
year. The following lightning
safety rules are important.
> Lightning tends to strike the
tallest object in an area...make
sure it is not you. Remain in your
vehicle or an indoor location
whenever possible.
> If you are stuck outside and in a
vulnerable position (top of a hill,
etc.), crouch down to make yourself a poor lightning target. Do
not lie flat on the ground since
you will be more likely to be
severely shocked if lightning
strikes close to you.

ASG_1412_CLOUDS 9/29/14 2:20 AM Page 101

The Life of a Thunderstorm

They are often in patterns (like rolls with


blue sky in between) and resemble altocumulus, but are lower.
Rain rarely occurs with these types of
clouds, and if the temperature between the
day/nights high and low is only a few
degrees, stratocumulus point to dry weather.
Stratus: This is a low, evenly grey layer of
fog-like cloud that comes close, but doesnt
touch, the ground. It produces a fine mist and
is greatly affected by local air currents.
Since they cover the entire sky usually in
what is normally described as overcast, the
humidity level is up high enough to produce
drizzle at most. Normally in the morning and
burning off by afternoon, stratus clouds can
start as fog (if they touch the ground).

Stratocumulus

Thunderstorms are one of Mother


Natures most impressive displays, as
there are a multitude of natural phenomena occurring simultaneously and
in concert to produce a thunderstorm.
Depending on the type and number
of cells, thunderstorms may be divided
into four main categories:
Single-cell storms are generally weak,
short-lived, and loosely organized.
They blow out as quickly as they blow
in and typically dont produce a lot of
rainfall.
Multi-cell cluster storms are the most
common type of storm and consist of
a series of cells moving along as one
unit, usually rotating slowly between
each other.
Multi-cell line storms, commonly
called squall lines, consist of a long
line of storms with a continuous wind
front at the leading edge. These produce a lot of rain over a wide territory.
Super-cell storms have a single
updraft, are very strong, and always
produce significant severe weather.
However, all thunderstorms, regardless of their size, length, or severity, go
through a three-stage life cycle.
Development Stage: The first
stage occurs when the thunderstorm
begins to develop. At this infant stage,
the storm is only a series of upward-

moving air currents that can reach a


height of around 20,000 feet, nearly
the zone of high-based altocumulus
clouds. As moisture becomes more
plentiful in the lower atmosphere, the
base of the storm may extend downward toward the ground.
Maturation Stage: This is the
strongest and most dangerous stage of
the storms life cycle. At this stage, the
storm contains both upward and downward moving air currents (updrafts and
downdrafts). The downdraft regions
supply rain to the area and causes cooling from the high-altitude air being
pushed toward the ground.
When the cool downdraft hits the
ground, it spreads out and forms winds
called a downburst. At the top of the
storm, the updraft rapidly decelerates
and clouds spread out and form an anvil.
If the updraft is particularly strong, however, an overshooting top will form
above the anvil. Underneath this area
are usually severe weather conditions
relative to the rest of the storm.
Dissipation Stage: Eventually,
excessive rainfall and downdraft will
combat and weaken the updraft. The
wind front will move away from the
center of the storm and sever its own
supply of energy (updraft provides
moisture for rainfall). Air pressure will
self-regulate and the storm will end.

DECEMBER 2014

Stratus

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

101

ASG_1412_CLOUDS.CX 10/6/14 2:19 AM Page 102

The Future
is in the

Clouds
Cumulus

WHEN YOU SEE LARGE MASSES OF


CUMULONIMBUS ON THE EASTERN
HORIZON, PREPARE YOURSELF FOR
RAIN OR WORSE.
LARGE VERTICAL CLOUDS

Cumulonimbus

DECEMBER 2014

Nimbostratus

102

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

Cumulus: Latin for heap,


cumulus clouds are high-piled
clouds with flat bases and domed
tops that can resemble tall towers.
Often resembling cauliflower in
shape, there are two basic types:
Cumulus humilis (fair-weather cumulus) are flat cumulus clouds; cumulus
congestus are much greater in size
but are usually taller than they are
wide. They often develop into
cumulonimbus.
Most cumulus are fair-weather
clouds and are produced generally
in dry conditions of a fair summer
(or hot) day. They only last for a
short time, but if they do generate
rain, it will be light. However,
enough cumulus clouds can grow
into a cumulonimbus formation and
produce thunderstorms.
Cumulonimbus: These are what
we call thunderclouds or shower
clouds, great masses of clouds rising
like mountains that dominate the
sky. They often have an anvil shape
at the top and bring thunderstorms,
heavy rain, squalls, and hail.
Make no mistake when you see
these clouds. Theyre enormously
tall and can forecast some extreme
weather, from heavy rain, snow,
thunderstorms to tornadoes and
hurricanes. When you see large
masses of cumulonimbus on the
eastern horizon (the anvil shape
points in the direction of travel) prepare yourself for rain or worse.
Nimbostratus: Dense, shapeless,
and ragged, nimbostratus are a low
layer of dark clouds that blanket the
sky. Nimbostratus are often connected to altostratus above it, and
almost always deliver rain.
You can readily assure yourself
that rain (or snow in cold climates) is
coming and lots of it.

ASG_1412_VOLCANO 10/1/14 4:46 AM Page 103

At
home in most
any environment,
the Volcano III is quick
to set up. Just a pull on
the handle out of the
box, and the legs snap
into place, ready to
start grilling.

Super
Grill
Master
Story and Photography by Ryan Lee Price

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

DECEMBER 2014

THE VOLCANO III TRIPLE-SOURCE


COLLAPSIBLE GRILL

bursting volcano spewing forth


molten lava is exactly the imagery
one wants to think of when grilling
meat in the great outdoors, as there
is no finer sight than a slab of once
vibrant animal flesh searing over an open flame.
The scent draws in everyone, but the trick is
double-edged: Either you are a wizard at starting
a fire perfect for grilling or you brought with you a
portable grill. If youre the former, flame on and
enjoy the fruits of your abilities, but if youre the
latter, youd be hard-pressed to find a more versatile grill for whatever life throws at you.
At home, in the wild, or even just in your RV,
your cooking options are limited to what is available to burn and the method for burning it. You
can always start a wood fire in nature; you can
always light a charcoal barbecue at home; and
you can always use propane when camping.
However, with the Volcano III, you have a cooking
device that has the ability to handle all three,
depending on what you have available. Since it is

103

ASG_1412_VOLCANO 10/1/14 4:47 AM Page 104

Grill Master
YOUR COOKING OPTIONS ARE LIMITED
TO WHAT IS AVAILABLE TO BURN AND THE
METHOD FOR BURNING IT.

1
2

3
4

DECEMBER 2014

104

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

10

convertible, transforming it from propane to


wood to charcoal is simple and fast, eliminating the inconvenience of worrying about
running out of a particular fuel for a particular stove; a propane stove is nearly useless
without propane.
The Volcano III triple-source collapsible
grill is made from hardened, powder-coated
steel, and is a snap to set up because of the
quick-release mechanical legs that pop out
when you merely lift up on the handle. Out
of the box, the grill is ready to go; you just
have to choose what fuel youll start with.
Since charcoal is the easiest to work with,
we started by following the directions to
cook simple chicken strips by placing 10 briquettes on the bottom grate. In about 15
minutes, the coals were pushing 530
degrees and the top grate was ready to go.
Adjusting the amount of air the grill draws in
though the 20 holes around the basethus

1. Though the propane burner could stand to be


enlarged slightly, it does a good job at heating the food,
especially when a Dutch oven is used, as it traps in the
heat and surrounds the pan.
2. The Volcano III uses a standard gas bottle coupling
youd find on any full-size gas grill.
3. Three legs support the 26-pound grill; these retract
back into the sides by lifting the grill up from the bottom. The material is weather-resistant, powder-coated
steel that gives the grill a solid feel.
4. The diffusion plate that fits over the propane burner
and spreads the flame out to the corners of the grill.
Because of the size of the burner, this plate isnt as
efficient as it could be.
5. To control the amount of air feeding the flames, a
sliding toggle switch opens and closes the holes surrounding the base of the grill. The supplied cookbook
tells exactly how to set it for each recipe.
6. Most of the simpler recipes in the cookbook utilize
only 10 or 12 briquettes, which creates a hot enough
flame (thanks to the volcano effect) to efficiently cook
a meal.
7. It only took approximately 10 minutes for the grill to
go from stone-cold to around 530 degrees, while the
outer shell of the unit (especially the bottom) stayed
relatively cool (109 degrees).
8. The coals were ready to go in no time, though wed
wish there was a way to adjust the height of the top
grill. It seemed that the 8 inches between the coals and
the bottom of the food should be less.
9. There are a limitless combinations by which to use
this grill, from propane to charcoal to wood, as a wok, a
Dutch oven, a fry station, an oven (with the Volcano
lid) and even a rotisserie.
10. Sometimes, throwing a few pieces of meat (even
chicken) on the grill can change the attitude of your
party and the tone of the whole adventure.

ASG_1412_VOLCANO 10/1/14 4:47 AM Page 105

creating the volcanic effect the unit was


designed aroundis as easy as sliding the
control vent either open or closed. The top
grill is 13 inches in diameter, which translates
into more than 132 square inches of cooking
space, more than enough for a family to barbecue a wide variety of things.
The inner core of the Volcano III is wide
enough for a 12-inch Dutch oven, and without the top grill, it can accommodate any
size frying pan or wok. Though the coals
were around 530 degrees, the outer skin of
the Volcano III was okay to touch and the
temperature underneaththanks to the
well-packed insulationwas only 109
degrees. The unit is safe enough to place
anywhere, from a leafy forest floor to a
leafy-printed picnic tablecloth.
The propane attachment is such that it
can be used with larger bottles of propane
similar to full-sized household grills, and the
hose and burner coil up nicely inside the Volcano III when in transport. There is even a
diffusion plate that fits over the propane
burner that spreads the 19,500 BTUs evenly

around the grill for equal cooking temperatures, regardless of what part youre using,
though it wasnt too effective when we tried
it; the burner could stand to be a little larger.
When done, the upper ring collapses into
the lower ring for transport and storage. All
of the accessories fit inside of the 5-inch
high unit when collapsed, while there is a
pocket in the nylon, zippered bag to store
the grills, diffusion plate and heatshield Volcano lid. Coming in at 26 pounds, this grill
wont go with you on a backpack excursion,
but at its MSRP, it can be easily argued that
it is a much better grill than the $1,000 unit
sitting on your patio right now (and that
thing can only use one type of fuel).

Source
Family Storehouse
FamilyStorehouse.net
(888) 610-2250

PROS
> Quick warm up
times and efficient
use of the charcoal.
> Body of the Volcano
III stays cool, no
matter how hot the
grill is.
> Sleek design, small
storage space, and
quick set up.
CONS
> The diffusion plate
isnt too effective at
dispersing the
propane flame.
> Theres no way to
move the grill
besides the handle
(which may be hot).
> No way to adjust
the distance
between the coals
and the top grill to
maximize smaller
flames.

ASG_1412_TRX.CX 10/6/14 2:28 AM Page 106

Brain Buster

DECEMBER 2014

DRDS SECURIS TACTICAL TOMAHAWK Story and Photography by Ryan Lee Price

106

n pre-colonial times, the Algonquian


ranged over much of eastern Canada and the
northeastern seaboard of the United States,
as hundreds of villages carved out oases in
the untamed wilderness. Constantly at war
with the Iroquois nations, the Algonquians were
skilled hunters and warriors; for roughly two centuries, they were the main obstacles to the
spread of Europeans in North America.
Tribe leaders like Metacomet, Powhatan,
Tecumseh, and Pontiac are well-known names
in the history of American expansion, and several state names are a result of Algonquian
interaction (Massachusetts, Connecticut, and

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

Vermont, for example). They also gave the


world the tomahawk.
In the late 1500s, Chief Powhatan brought
together 30 tribes in eastern Virginia to create
a federation called Tsenacommacah, eventually known as the Powhatan tribe. One of the
most formidable weapons to defend this new
organization was the tamahaac, an Algonquian word meaning to cut off by tool.
These were chipped stones attached to
wooden handles with strips of rawhide and
used for everyday chores like cutting and hunting, but was coveted primarily for its ability to
effectively cleave an enemys skull in battle.

[TOP] With the bit


already showing
signs of experience, this tomahawk is a formidable tool in the backcountry, as well as
an imposing
weapon.
[INSET] The scabbard is Kydex, a
tough plastic, and
the tomahawk is
secured via a friction clip and a
nylon buckle.

ASG_1412_TRX 10/1/14 4:49 AM Page 107

[CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT]

The rounded knob end makes


for an intimidating pummel to use
as a hammer or a persuader if the
pointy ends dont suffice. Most hatchets
and camp axes have a hammer as a poll, not
a menacing spike like this one. The CNCmachined tomahawk is 38 inches thick, one
piece, and incredibly strong. Though we werent
able to test this ourselves, the manufacturer
demonstrates its ability to pry padlocks apart
with a simple twist. The shallow flat Vgrinded bit, though not as durable as other
styles of grinds, is especially useful with
a hand-held axe, such as a tomahawk, because it is easy to
sharpen and stays
sharper longer.

head is beveled down to a very brutal


point. On the bottom of the sharpened poll is a half-circle arc that can
catch and hold if the tomahawk is
used as a pry bar.
The 550-para-wrapped handle is
coated in a dense rubber material
that is rough and non-slip, as well as
protected against electric shock. On
the haft towards the head are finger
grips for choked-up use or closequarters maneuvering, while the
paracord terminates with a lanyard
at the knob end and an additional
hole to be used for hanging or alternate attachment.
Because it is machined from a single piece of strong steel and doesnt
have the weak point a traditional
wood-handled tool has, it is nearly
indestructible. Blunt trauma is its
strong suit, as it made its way through
a thick branch in several swings,
though its narrow bit limited the
thickness of subject to be bludgeoned. The grip is comfortable and
the paracord-wrapped handle exudes
a confidence with each swing.

The scabbard is made of Kydex


plastic, and the tomahawk is
secured with a friction clip, as well
as a buckle integrated into the
adjustable nylon shoulder strap.
Small and compact, it can easily fit
in most any pack or you can sling it
over your shoulder.

Specs
Manufacturer: DRD Tactical
Model: Securis Tomahawk
Length: 1412 inches
Thickness: 38 inches
Weight: 30 ounces
Bit width: 234 inches
Blade material: 4140 steel
Handle material: Melanite
Handle cover: 550 paracord
Scabbard: Kydex
MSRP: $350

Contact

DECEMBER 2014

With the arrival of Europeans


came metal tools, and the tomahawks effectiveness increased
markedly. Though the concept of a
small axe used for throwing had
been around for thousands of years
(the French francisca, the labrys of
the Iron Age, et al), but the
Powhatan created a uniquely American weapon whose name is synonymous with a small battle axe.
Very few modern companies produce tomahawks, and when they do,
they refer to them with less bloody
names, such as camp axes or hatchets. Instead, DRD Tactical embraces
the tradition of skull-crushing
weapons by adding a modern twist
to the latest addition to its catalog:
the Securis Tactical Tomahawk.
CNC machined from a single piece
of 38-inch thick 4140 chromoly steel
and coated with melonite, the tomahawk is 1412 inches long and tips the
scales at just over 30 ounces. The bit
is 234 inches long and the blade protrudes 3 inches from the haft, while a
3-inch poll on the other end of the

DRDTactical.com

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

107

A Roof Of
Polyethylene
17 WAYS TO MAKE A SHELTER FROM A TARP

DECEMBER 2014

Story by Ryan Lee Price

108

omans in the fields of Europe 1,000 years ago erected tents


made of leather, while their nomadic contemporaries to the east
used woven hemp and wool to build yurts. Leather and hemp
made way for canvas 200 to 300 years ago, which led to lightweight polyester and nylon used in todays modern tents.
Though easy to carry and relatively simple to put up, there are numerous
situations you might find yourself in where a traditional tent isnt something
you have or was something you were forced to give up. As a refugee obligated
to quickly leave your residence or a victim of some tragedy that completely
obliterated your residence and everything in itincluding your $400 six-man
tent with optional skylight and porchthe idea of spending the night under
the stars under such circumstances can sound dreadful, especially in the
pouring rain or the depths of winter. A basic shelter can keep your head dry,
conserve heat, as well as provide a comforting sense of safety.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

[TOP] Simple tarp


shelters can be
made easily and
quickly with minimal equipment, providing much need
respite from the
wind, sun, rain, or
snow. It conserves
body heat and
offers a sense of
comfort, which
raises morale in
tough situations.

PHOTO BY CREEK STEWART

ASG_1412_TARPS 10/1/14 4:51 AM Page 108

ASG_1412_TARPS 10/1/14 4:52 AM Page 109

PHOTO BY CREEK STEWART

In any emergency situation,


for example,
where everything you own is
about to get
completely
soaking wet or
the sun has
become so
unbearable that
you think you
cant take
another step, a
makeshift shelter can be had
with little more
than a tarp and
some rope.

> Dont set up your shelter over an ant nest or over


any sort of burrow entrance.
> Dont set up your shelter in a gully or on a riverbank, you may get flash floods.
> Dont set up your shelter below the high water
mark on a shoreline.
> Dont set up your shelter on top of a hill or ridge.
These spots attract lightning.
> Dont attach lines to tall trees or a tree standing
alonethese sorts of tree attract lightning
strikes. A short tree in a group of taller trees is
safer.
> Dont set up your shelter beneath a tree branch
that is dead or partly broken. While overhead
tree branches can serve well as an anchor point,
it may be better not to do so, in case the tree
branch breaks during a storm.
> Dont set up your shelter beneath a dead tree or
within the falling distance of a dead tree. One
day, all dead trees eventually fall over, and that
day might be the day you set up camp.
> Dont set up your shelter after dark if you can
help it. However, shelter is the first thing to do in
a survival situation.
> Always set up camp in relation to wind direction.
Wind direction changes during the course of the
day, but vegetation will grow and bend over to
the Lee side, showing the direction of the prevailing (strongest, most common) winds.

TARP TRICKS
There are several different tips and tricks
that can be used to make your tarp shelter slightly more bearable, or at least,
combat some of the conditions that
might cause additional discomfort.
1. Reinforce folds with a taut length of
paracord staked at either end and running
along the inside of the fold. The cord will not
only keep the fold square but it will help keep the roof
from buckling in the wind.
2. Build up a foundation of earth (or snow or mud) that overlays
the outside edges of the tarp where it meets the ground. It will create a shelter against drafts pouring in from underneath the edges.
Note: The small trench on the insides provides a place for condensation to gather if it drips down the inside of the tarp.
3. A quick way to attach a length of paracord to the grommet of
a tarp that will add strength is to loop it around a stick. The stick
will hold the cord in place while distributing the tension on the tarp
over a wider area instead of on the grommet alone.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

DECEMBER 2014

There are dozens of materials out today that can be


used to make a tent, such as woven cotton canvas, nylon
tent fabric, and laminated plastic poly tarpseven plastic painters drop cloths. Ideally, any rectangular or
square sheet of waterproof material will work in an
emergency, but poly tarps are the most durable and
lightweight in relation to their square footage. Brand
new, they are virtually draft-proof and waterproof, making them great for catching water, as well as keeping it
out. They are made of polyethylene, the most common
plastic there is, and they have heat-sealed seams, grommets every few feet along the edges, and sometimes
reinforced corners. Standard, lightweight poly tarps
come in a variety of sizes and, although they may be
lighter than canvas tarps, they melt and burn far more
easily than canvas.
Take into account the purpose of your shelter. Make it
as large as it needs to be to support the number of people that intend to use it and as sturdy as the environment
dictates. Consider the weather. Any shelter can become
unstable and collapse if weight overloads the supports.
In the case of a shelter made from a tarp, it doesnt take
much. Storm debris, rain, hail, or snow may lie on top of
the shelter (or be blown against it), until it can no longer
support the weight.
Like in real estate, the three most important things
you need to consider in pitching a tarp shelter is location,
location, location. The set-up of a tarp shelter must take
account from which way the wind is blowing in order to
keep the tent from becoming an out-of-control sail
thrashing in the breezes. Ideally, the ground should slope
slightly for water runoff, but you may have to dig
trenches around your shelter to aid in drainage.
There are literally dozens of different ways and configurations to construct a suitable shelter with only a single tarp (in our examples, we use a 10x10-foot tarp), a
length of 550 paracord, a few cheap aluminum stakes
(or rocks) and some poles (walking sticks, trekking
poles, or branches can act as supports if needed).

Tarp Shelters:
What Not To Do

109

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A Roof Of
Polyethylene

03. Basic Lean-To


Secured to the ground on the
windward side and supported by
the paracord between two anchor
points, the Basic Lean-To is simple to make and great for deflecting wind or providing a sunshade.
At a 30-degree angle, the Basic
Lean-To can provide 5 feet of
height and 8.6 feet of width
under the shelter.
PROS: Easy to erect, quick to
take down, provides great deflection from wind and shelter from
rain or sun.
CONS: There are no sides, nor
floor to protect against other elements.

02. Basic Sunshade


Strung with lengths of paracord
between four anchoring points
(e.g. trees), the Basic Sunshade
shelter is parallel to the ground
and provides, at most, 100square-feet of shade against the
sun at high noon. Angling it
toward the sun will make it more
efficient. This configuration cannot be used in the rain, as the
water will pool in the middle. A
possible variation of this can be
built by adding support poles to
each corner, or perhaps a single
support pole in the middle. (See
Mushroom Fly.)
PROS: Provides the maximum
shelter against the sun
CONS: Not suitable for cold
weather or able to support rain.

04. Tube Tent


With the paracord secured
between two trees, two-thirds of
the tarp is draped over with the
opposite ends secured together,
creating a Basic A-Frame, but
with a floor. Sixty-degree walls
will provide only 3.3-feet of width
and 2.8-feet of headroom, which
isnt much room for a single adult,
and much less for two.
PROS: It is a sturdy shelter with a
floor and, if properly secured to
the ground, will prevent rain from
seeping in.
CONS: There are no door flaps
and the paracord must be kept
taut to work effectively.

DECEMBER 2014

01. Basic A-Frame


The ubiquitous A-Frame shelter
can be had by stringing the paracord between two trees, draping
over the tarp, and staking it down
not only on the corners, but along
the sides to keep out the wind.
The 30-degree angle of the tarps
roof will produce a 10-foot-long
living space approximately 8.6feet wide and 2.5-feet tall.
PROS: Good rain/snow runoff
and, if the angle is high enough,
good wind deflection.
CONS: There is no floor nor door
flaps and, if the paracord is not
stretched tight enough, there will
be sagging in the middle.

110

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

05. Mushroom Fly


Very similar to the Basic Sunshade, the Mushroom Fly adds in
a central support pole at the
tarps midpoint. Designed for rain
runoff or snow shedding, the
Mushroom Fly is sturdy and
roomy, provided the four corners
of the tarp a well secured. It can
be as tall or as short as you need,
depending on the length of the
center support pole. In inclement
weather, consider building this as
low to the ground as possible.
PROS: Great rain runoff and
snow/leaves shedding; works
well as a sunshade.
CONS: No sides to protect
against the wind or cold.
06. Cornucopia
Also known as the Cornet, the
Cornucopia utilizes one long
length of paracord strung from a
tree to ground. The tarp is draped
over the paracord diagonally,
while the leading edges fold
under to form the floor. Face the
corner into the wind and stake it
well to keep out the weather. A
10x10 tarp makes for tight living
quarters, though, while rain will
run down the single slanted paracord and into the shelter. Above
the entrance, tie off some drip
lines of string to combat this.
PROS: Good wind deflection and
rain/snow/debris shedding.
CONS: Not much headroom and
it might be too short for tall people and their gear.

ASG_1412_TARPS 10/1/14 4:52 AM Page 111

10

11

07. Wind Shed


Also known as the C-Fly, the Wind
Shed employs a full groundsheet
designed into it. Folding the tarp
into thirds, make sure the leading
edge of the roof hangs over the
groundsheet for adequate rain
runoff. Secure the main ridgeline
with paracord stretched between
two trees, while supporting the
gable ends to the ground with
shorter lengths of paracord. Since
this is designed for wind deflection, consider adding a length of
paracord to the bottom fold,
where the back panel meets the
groundsheet. A few rocks placed
along that fold (on the inside)
will help (see Tarp Tricks).
PROS: Great wind deflection
CONS: Requires a lot of
stakes/secure points; the hanging
roofline could sag under rain
loads and drain onto the groundsheet; no doors or fourth side for
protection from the elements.

09. Dining Fly


Similar to the Basic A-Frame, the
Dining Fly has been used for
countless decades by miners and
campers as a simple open-air
cover, good for a sunshade while
providing a modicum of headroom without sacrificing too
much space. Though limited in its
ability to ward off the weather
(besides rain) due to its lack of
sides and doors (like the Basic
Sunshade), it is a poplar configuration for desert survival. The
height of the support poles dictates the amount of headroom
and footprint the shelter will provide, but is a sturdy shelter when
properly tied down and staked.
PROS: Provides ventilation and a
good coverage with adequate
headroom. Good for the desert.
CONS: No sides or flaps for complete protection; not for windy
environments.

12

10. Fold-Over Wind Shed


Similar in design as the traditional Wind Shed, this version
provides more coverage by sacrificing the groundsheet. The
height of the paracord ridgeline
determines the angle of the roof
and the footprint of the shelter. In
windier climates, a low sloping
roof will better deflect wind when
it is placed against the wind.
PROS: Great wind deflection and
rain runoff.
CONS: No floor, flaps or sides to
protect completely against the
elements.
11. Half Box
When time isnt of the essence
and you have a more leisure
opportunity to build a shelter,
consider the Half Box. Similar to
the Barn Stall, the Half Box
requires the use of at least four
support poles and probably as
many or more tie-downs to hold it
all up. The footprint is only 25square feet, but it provides two
sides of protection from the elements. If not supported in the
middle or kept taut from the
sides, it will sag under any load of
rain, snow or debris. A full onequarter of the tarp goes unused
and folded up behind the rear
corner.
PROS: Good sunshade from allday sun if positioned properly.
CONS: No floor or flaps; a quarter
of the tarp goes unused; can be
difficult to set up; requires four 5foot support poles and many tiedowns.

12. Miners Tent


In order to construct this somewhat complicated shelter, a tarp
ratio of 1:2 is required (e.g. 10x20foot tarp), and because so many
folds are necessary to perfect it,
an illustration is included. Start by
lashing four, 10-foot-long support
poles together at one end (for the
peakF) and spread out the four
other ends to form a square on
the groundA, B, C, D. Affix the
middle of the long edge of the
tarp (F) to the top of the poles.
Start by attaching FI to the rear
right pool. HI will be the rear bottom edge, while IE will become
the right-side bottom edge. FH is
then attached to the left-rear
pole, so that HG will be the leftside bottom edge. The front flaps
are made up of triangle FGC and
FBE, while triangles GHD and EIA
are folded under to be a partial
floor. When done, the Miners
Tent is just over 9-feet high in the
center and has a living area of
more than 68-square feet.
PROS: When properly constructed, staked and secured to
the support poles, it is a very
sturdy shelter, able to withstand
quite a bit; it makes a complete
enclosure; very spacious.
CONS: Complicated to build,
requires a specific size tarp and
four 10-foot poles.

DECEMBER 2014

08. Diamond Fly


A 10x10 tarp has a diagonal
length of just over 14 feet, making
the Diamond Fly perfect for more
than one person. Secure the paracord to a tree and the ground and
drape over the tarp at a diagonal.
The length of paracord and angle
with which it is tied to a tree
determines the overall headroom
and width of the shelter. Take into
consideration the reason for
building it: steep walls will shed
rain, snow, and debris, and the
angled end (similar to the Cornucopia) will deflect wind if well

staked. However, a more gentle


slopping walls will accommodate
more people and/or gear but will
allow for less headroom. As with
the Cornucopia, drip lines will be
needed in rainy weather.
PROS: Good wind deflection and
rain shedding abilities; can
accommodate a larger group of
people or more equipment.
CONS: No floor or flaps to completely keep out the elements. If
the wind changes direction frequently, the shelter will be compromised.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

111

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A Roof Of
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13

14

15

16

DECEMBER 2014

17

112

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

13. Arrowhead
Construction of the Arrowhead
can start by supporting the center
of two perpendicular edges with
5-foot-long poles or by attaching
those edges to trees with paracord. The opposite corner gets
staked to the ground (or it is
where the other ends of the paracord meet). It creates a series of
four triangles, allowing for 5-feet
of headroom at the opening and
just over 7-feet of width (and 35.3
square feet of living space). The
flap hangs down for make for a
partial closure.
PROS: The low profile deflects
the wind, and it is very roomy.
CONS: The poles need to be supported by paracord tie-downs;
theres no floor and the flap only
partially covers the opening.
14. Barn Stall
Belonging to the Basic A-Frame
family of shelters, the Barn Stall
utilizes two to four five-foot poles
for support or two poles and a
paracord attached to two anchor
points. It is very similar to the
Fold-Over Wind Shed with the
front being supported by poles,
instead. The flat roof isnt very
efficient at shedding rain or
debris, and the single 90-degree
wall will be affected by the slightest breezes, so it is best to construct this shelter out of the wind.
It produces 50-square feet of living space, but has no floor and
only one wall.
PROS: Simple to build for a quick
sunshade
CONS: Not efficient in the rain or
wind; lacks floors and walls for
adequate protection from the
weather.
15. Shade Sail
Similar in concept to the Diamond Fly and the Basic A-Frame,
the Shade Sail is a quick shelter
that diagonally drapes the tarp
over a length of paracord
attached to two anchor points.
The opposite corners are staked
to the ground, providing a simple
shade shelter. Open and airy, the
overall square-feet of space
depends on how tall it is; the
lower the angles of the sides are,
the better it well be at deflecting
wind and the more shade it will
provide.
PROS: Provides all-day shade;
quick to set up; uses minimal
stakes.
CONS: Not weather resistant;
has no floor or flaps and will not
work well in the rain.

16. Square Arch


As the name implies, a Square
Arch shelter is an arch with a
square top. Starting with two parallel lengths of paracord attached
to anchor points approximately 3
feet apart and 3 feet high, drape
the ground cloth over the two
lengths of paracord and secure
the long ends of the tarp with
stakes. The dimensions of the
shelter are dependent on how
high the paracord is strung and/or
how far apart they are. The
description here represents the
maximum allowed so the ends
still touch the ground. An alternative is to secure one paracord
slightly higher than the other to
allow for rain runoff or angle one
side for wind deflection. As is, this
shelter is 3-feet wide, 3-feet tall
and 10-feet long.
PROS: Narrow construction for
building it in tight spaces.
CONS: Odds of finding four
anchor points in the needed proximity is low; no flaps or floor.
17. Quesadilla
The Quesadilla is an inverted
Shade Sail designed to deflect
wind and protect from light rain
while providing a large floor
space. The corner of the tarp is
attached to an anchor point with
the paracord and the remaining
corners and sides are staked to
the ground, so the tarp is folded
on the diagonal. Used for mild
weather, the base covers 50square feet, and the height
depends on the angle of the roof
and the attachment point. An
alternative is to use a pole to support the corner if no anchor point
can be found, or tie up the far corner to the paracord for extra protection. To reinforce the fold line
of this shelter, stake a taut paracord line across the fold (see Tarp
Tricks).
PROS: Only requires a single
anchor point, has a floor, and protects well against the wind.
CONS: Not very good at rain protection due to the triangular roof
and not having sides.

ASG_1412_113 9/29/14 1:30 AM Page 113

ASG_1412_SOG 9/29/14 2:23 AM Page 114

The

SOG
Jungle
Warrior
THIS IS NOT YOUR
DADDYS POCKETKNIFE
STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHY BY RYAN LEE PRICE

The SOG Jungle Warrior is a large knife, so much so


that it skirts the machete neighborhood, but dont let
its size fool you. It is a well-made, agile piece of equipment that youll be glad you have when you need it.

DECEMBER 2014
114

here are plenty of cheap


pocketknives used for opening letters and cutting twine,
and there are an equal number of expensive tactical
knives made to be used in close-range
combat or survival situations. This knife,
this 15 -inch, massive SOG Jungle Warrior, falls somewhere in the middle: you
wont have a practical reason to use it
every day, but youll be glad you have it
when you need it.
Just like a machete, it has realistic limitations on day-to-day abilities, but it
makes up for all of that with sheer size
and force. Put it in your bug-out bag or
stash it with your emergency supplies.
With a little less than two-thirds of its
stature reserved for the blade, the 10
inches of black oxide stainless steel puts
considerable distance between you and
the object of your wrath. The blade is a
full-tang with an unsharpened drop point
swedge. It is 316 inches at its thickest point
near the handle and tapers to the point.
The serrated jimping on the spine is thick,
so your thumb wont slip; however, the
blade is too long and there is no opposite

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

ASG_1412_SOG 9/29/14 2:23 AM Page 115

The sheath is
nylon, with an
adjustable strap and a
good-sized pocket on the
front. Its best feature is
that it is thin and lightweight, not bulky or
obtrusive.

Specs
Manufacturer: SOG Knives
Model: Jungle Warrior
URL: SOGKnives.com
Overall length: 1512 inches
Blade length: 10 inches
Blade width: 178 inches
Blade thickness: 1/6 inches
Blade material: 8CR13MOV
Rockwell hardness: 56-58
Handle material: Kraton
Handle thickness: 34 inches
Price: $80

Contact: SOGKnives.com
AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

DECEMBER 2014

1. The black oxide straight blade will need a


little attention to be perfect. Though out-ofthe-box sharp, it could stand to be sharper.
2. The persuader, as it is sometimes called, is
the exposed bottom of the tang, used for
hammering or striking. It is serrated for better traction.
3. The jimping on the blades spine is oversized and replaces the need for a traditional
thumb rise. However, pushing your thumb
that far forward from the handle without a
finger groove on the opposite side is uncomfortable and dangerous on such a large knife.
4. The Kraton handle materials are comfortable and slip resistant, thanks in part to
SOGs Digi-Grip pattern molded into the
material and these ridges on the quillons.
5. The business end of the Jungle Warrior
is a drop point, one of the most popular
styles of knife points made. It allows
for increased strength in the tip and
5
wont as easily break when lateral
force is applied.

finger groove (plus, the choil is no


place to put your finger if you want
to keep it). It is best to keep your fingers wrapped around the handle
belly and safely within the front and
rear quillons (protrusions on the
bottom of the handle that keep the
hand in place), but if you feel the
need to choke up on a knife that
much to get a better cut, youre
using the wrong knife for the job.
The Digi-Grip textured handle
is made from Kraton, a synthetic
rubber known for its flexibility, high
traction, resistance to heat and
weather. There are two holes near
the guard to be used as lashing
points when converting this knife
into a spear, while a third hole can
receive a lanyard. At the base of the
handle, the tang is exposed through
the pommel to form a hard serrated
striking platform. Sometimes
known as a persuader, it can be
used as a hammer to break glass,
pound a stake, or help turn the knife
into an auger.
The sheath is constructed of
nylon with a rubberized inner skeleton for rigidity. The diagonal retention strap with a button closure
makes for a tight fit, but can be
adjusted for right- or left-handers.
The small pocket piggybacking on
the front of the sheath is a perfect
size for holding a sharpening stone
or a first aid kit, while the belt loop is
large enough to accommodate most
any belt size.
The knife is well balanced and
light for its size. It is easy to grip and
doesnt feel 15 inches long, nor
does its nearly 20 ounces seem tiring. The Jungle Warrior, as its name
implies, is at home chopping and
slashing, defending person and
property with its long reach. You
wont use it to whittle, and it is too
large to make intricate carvings. Its
purpose is to remove material in violent swaths, clear away foliage in
mighty sweeps, and, if necessary,
inflict the kind of damage needed to
change the tides of your situation
when everything goes south.

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Gear Guide
LANTERNS

Let The Light Shine

DECEMBER 2014

ASG Picks The Top Five Lanterns

116

FROM PREHISTORIC TIMES, light has been a source of comfort for those who felt
stranded in the mysterious, foreboding darkness with the fear of the unknown surrounding them. They were at the mercy of their predators who had well adapted to seeing in the
dark. Eventually, fire provided warmth and a place to cook meals, but the light extended
the day and gave those that gathered around it a place to gather and tell stories or to further educate the tribe. Plus, light equals safety.
Fast forward to today, and stories are still told around the fire and light still wards off
that fear of the unknown. However, artificial light is more reliable and easier to summon,
thanks especially to the advent of modern lanterns. These five examples of quality
lanterns, ranging in price and amenities, does well to replace the gas/mantle lanterns of
yesteryear with battery/turbine/solar/USB power sources that will not only last a lifetime,
but are readily available for a wide variety of situations, from a mere campout in the backcountry to a full-scale nighttime evacuation in an emergency.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

These five lanterns


were chosen because
of their quality,
amenities, and value.
Most come with
lithium-ion batteries
that will last through
thousands of
charge/deplete
cycles. They all are
similar in main form
and functions, but
each provide subtle
differences that
make them unique in
their own ways.

ASG_1412_BG_LANTERNS 9/29/14 2:42 AM Page 117

LANTERNS Gear
Guide

30 LED Emergency Lantern


Simple and economical, the strong suit of this lantern is the 30 LED
bulbs that provide an immense amount of light while using only a fraction of the batteries needed for other battery-operated lanterns this
size. The four D-cell batteries needed give this lantern hours of bright
light. It is constructed of heavy-duty plastic, and the globe is protected
by chrome-plated rods and an inner plastic housing. The control switch
is a simple on/off, but also allows for a variable light intensity. Keep it
low to extend the battery life or crank it to the top for the maximum
light. It weighs just over a pound and stands almost 10 inches tall.
MSRP: $9.99

1. An added feature on the


dome is a small compass. The
handle folds to the side and
out of the way when not in use.
2. The control switch is simple
to use and provides a range of
brightness, from very dim to
very bright. 3. The globe is
plastic but supported by two
chromed rods and an inner
housing to diffuse the light.
The 30 LEDs are strung up and
around the inner housing.

SOURCE:

DECEMBER 2014

Nitro-Pak
375 West 910 South
Heber City, Utah 84032
(888) 866-4876
Nitro-Pak.com

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

117

ASG_1412_BG_LANTERNS 9/29/14 2:42 AM Page 118

Gear
Guide

LANTERNS

EDITORS
PICK
Goal Zero LightHouse 250
This lantern offers the best of several different worlds when it comes to
rechargeable power. It offers three ways to recharge the batteries: via USB
plugged into any computer or USB outlet (cable included), via the solar
panel mounting on the lanterns top, or via the hand crank. Use the energy
to power the light, operate a flashing red beacon light that rings the hood
or to even charge a smartphone or tablet. The light is dual directional,
meaning you can light up one half or both sides. A full charge from the sun
or a USB takes about seven hours, while a turn on the crank for a minute or
two will give about 20 minutes of light. When fully charged however, the
batteries will last for 48 hours if the light is on low. MSRP: $79.99

DECEMBER 2014

SOURCE:

118

Family Storehouse
356 East State Street
American Fork, UT 84003
(801) 642-2292
FamilyStorehouse.com

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

1. The tough plastic hand crank is sturdy and it


turns the dynamo easily. About two minutes of
cranking will give around 20 minutes of light. A
metal ring handle folds out of the way, but is
quite small for larger fingers to hook under easily.
2. The lantern displays the battery level via the
four blue LED lights. Plugging in a USB-enabled
device will provide a boost in its charge or a complete recharge if necessary (it takes about two
hours to recharge an iPhone, for example, but
uses half the battery doing so). 3. The connected
USB cable allows the lantern to be plugged into
any USB port so it can recharge its internal batteries. It takes about seven hours to fully
recharge this way. 4. The globe is plastic and the
inner light housing is split, providing light on one
or both sides depending on the selection. The
light gives off a warm yellow glow that is bright
and far reaching.

ASG_1412_BG_LANTERNS 9/29/14 2:42 AM Page 119

LANTERNS Gear
Guide

Goal Zero Lighthouse USB Power Hub


At 14 inches and two pounds, this is the tallest and heaviest of the five lanterns here but
seems to be constructed with the most rugged of materials. The handle is stout and connected via metal bolts with a large plastic grip and a retractable metal hanging hook. The
hood is thick and sturdy, supported by four metal rods that protect the globe and internal
light housing. The base is robust, giving the impression that this lantern can take a tumble
and come out just fine. The controls are straightforward: A single button controls the high and
low light setting and the red emergency flasher that rings the hood.
It can be charged from several sources, a 12-volt car charger and AC wall adapter (both
included), a solar panel array (not included), via a USB port, and by cranking the dynamo on
the dome. Fully charged, the lantern has a 10-hour runtime for the light or a 24-hour runtime
for the red emergency flashers. There is a port for the lantern to act as a USB charging station
for your smartphone or tablet. MSRP: $42.95
SOURCE:

Nitro-Pak
375 West 910 South
Heber City, Utah 84032
(888) 866-4876
Nitro-Pak.com

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

DECEMBER 2014

1. The controls are simple and easy to use/nd in the


dark. The red button activates the two settings on
the lantern as well as cycles through the red emergency asher. The USB charging station turns blue
to let you know it is working. 2. The crank that turns
the dynamo on the dome is solid construction and
turns easily. One minute of hand cranking provides
for about 10 minutes of use. 3. On top of the stout
handle is this integrated metal hook to allow the
lantern to be hung from a variety of places. This is
the only lantern that offers such an amenity. 4. The
globe is sturdy plastic and is protected by these four
chrome rods. The inner diffuser disperses the LED
light evenly and widely.

119

ASG_1412_BG_LANTERNS 9/29/14 2:42 AM Page 120

Gear
Guide

LANTERNS

Rothco 36 LED Solar/


Handcrank Lantern
With a solar panel dominating the dome of this lantern, it
enjoys long-lasting recharge times (two hours of normal run
time for eight hours of solar charging). The dome construction
is plastic, but the cage that surrounds the globe provides a
great sense of security that this lantern could take a fall without breaking. The 36 LEDs in the inner housing are bright and
case a wide light thanks to the unique diffuser. The controls
are an easy-to-find-in-the-dark single button that toggles
from off, high (36 LEDs) and low (18 LEDs).
The lantern stands more than 10 inches tall, and the plastic black handle offers a solid grip and can be used to hang up
the lantern. Hand cranking for a minute provides 20 minutes
of power using the low setting (18 LEDs) and 10 minutes of
full, 36 LED power. MSRP: $38.49

SOURCE:

JHL Supply
P.O. Box 720
Fulton, NY 13069
800-537-1339
CampingSurvival.com

DECEMBER 2014

1. The unique diffuser helps


cast the light from the LEDs
over a wide area, while the
chromed cage protects the
globe. 2. The simple on/off
switch controls the high and
low setting for the LEDs. Low is
half power (18 LEDs), while
high is all 36 LEDs. 3. Just less
than nine hours of solar charging provides two hours of normal light.

120

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

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LANTERNS Gear
Guide

Kaito Solar/Dynamo LED Lantern

SOURCE:

JHL Supply
P.O. Box 720
Fulton, NY 13069
(800) 537-1339
CampingSurvival.com

DECEMBER 2014

This is a little powerhouse of a lantern. Despite that it is the


smallest one of the five (a diminutive 8 inches), it provides the
most features of any. The lithium-ion battery can be charged
from the solar panels on the dome, via a USB port, three AA
batteries, or by hand cranking the dynamo. It has an
AM/FM/NOAA weather radio with an antenna, but the light
and radio wont work at the same time. The radios speaker is
small but provides a crisp, clean sound. The eight LED lights
are bright and can be adjusted with the toggle button from
high to low to off. The hand crank for the dynamo is on the
back, giving the user a steady place to hold the lantern while
cranking. A full charge will provide eight hours of light or 10
hours of radio power, or it can charge a USB-enabled devise.
Though this one is black, they can come in three colors
(also bright safety yellow or forest green). The handle on the
dome is plastic and rather flimsy, but the rest of the lantern
appears well built and rugged. MSRP: $24.95

1. The controls are simple to


use. The radio knob is large
enough to provide finetuning
but not too big to be difficult to
turn. The radio switches bands
with a simple toggle switch,
and power can alternate from
dynamo to battery. 2. The eight
LED lights reflect off of the
inner diffuser and cast a bright
light from the plastic dome.
The lightweight construction
of the lantern (it only weighs
12.7 ounces) gives it a robust
feel. 3. Just a few minutes of
cranking on the dynamo handle
will provide hours of power to
keep the radio going or give
ample light.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

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Being
Self-Sufficient

DECEMBER 2014

CHECKLISTS FOR YOUR PREPPING PLANS Story by Larry Schwartz | Photography by Larry Schwartz and Ryan Lee Price

122

any different events can put you into an


emergency situation where you have to
make do without the things that make
our everyday life so easyelectricity, air
conditioning, gasoline, fresh running
water, or refrigeration. Whether it is a winter snowstorm
that shuts down roadways or an earthquake that takes
out the whole utility grid, if we havent already, most of
us will face a day, or several days, where we have to
make do. When that happens, there are some basics that
you will need, and fortunately you likely have many or all
of them at home already.
The duration of the event of course, will affect how
much you need and what you need. Keep in mind that an
emergency situation may last a few hours, as in when an
electrical substation goes down, or it may last several days
or even weeks, as in when storm damage or an earthquake
shuts down roads and utilities. For this reason, you need to
decide the length of time you need to stock supplies for. If
it is just a few days you can probably get by with what you
keep in your house already for food and will just need

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

some extra water and some powdered milk. If it is for a


longer period of time you will need to stock up on canned
foods, bottled water, and other necessities.
As emergency situations drag out, your equipment
and supply needs also change. For example, using bottled water for cooking and drinking is fine for a short term
event, but for the longer term you may need to have a
water filter on hand to clean make potable water from
water you have access to from lakes, ponds, streams, or
standing water. Many of the emergency food packages
are dehydrated or freeze-dried foods that need water to
rehydrate them in order to eat them. Unfortunately,
water is often one of the first things you run out of, so
going with canned foods is often a better long-term
solution to what you will eat.
So, with a little planning about the essential things
you need, how long you want to be able to meet your
needs before the grid comes back up, and some additional purchases over a month or two, you can set yourself up to be self-sufficient, although not as comfortable
as you are with full utility power.

ASG_1412_THINGS 10/1/14 5:11 AM Page 123

THE SECRET TO FOOD DURING AN EMERGENCY SITUATION, NO MATTER HOW LONG IT LASTS, IS TO KEEP IT SIMPLE.

SHELTER
The most important need of any
living creature is shelter. Shelter
from harm, from the weather, and
from the ongoing events in the
world around us. Without it all of
the other stresses in our lives get
magnified.
Some may advise that in a disaster situation, you should bug out to
wherever your emergency location
is, but in most cases your best
choice is really to stay where you
live. You already have all of your
supplies there, you have shelter in
place, your support system and
family are in place, and when the
grid comes back up you wont have
to return to your home or worry
about it having been ransacked
while you were gone.
Checklist:
Your home
It already provides protection from
the elements and stores all of your
other supplies and equipment

Waterproof tarps of varying size


These cover a wide range of uses,
from covering damaged windows to
keeping out the wind and rain, to partitioning off a room, to keeping the
heat in a smaller area, or making a
tent or lean-to in the living room for
everyone to sleep under if the room
starts to leak

In the aftermath of most emergencies, the luxury of heading to the store for some supplies will
be out of the question. History has shown us that it takes less than a day for the shelves to be
emptied by the unprepared and panicky. [OPPOSITE] Although making it through an emergency
situation calls for a different set of skills and perspectives, most of the things you need you
already have at home. With a little effort, you can collect together the essential 35 items that
will serve you well in whatever life might throw at you and your family.

to fix, and are nourishing and comforting. Which leads me to another


consideration for emergency foodstuffs, and that is to keep it familiar.
That bucket of emergency dehydrated food you saw at the big box
store or online may look like a great
idea, but if you and your children are
not used to eating it you may find
that after a few days you wont
want to eat it. More importantly, if
your body does not handle the
change in diet well, you may run into
health problems like lack of energy
or constipation.

(stuffing mixes, instant or minute rice,


beans, orzo, couscous)

Checklist:
Sweeteners

COOKING

High protein and high-energy


spreads
(nut butters (peanut, almond,
cashew) and jams and jellies)

Condiments
(catsup, mustard, mayonnaise, relish,
salt and pepper, or anything else you
can get at your local fast food stores
or online)

Olive oil
(this can be added to a wide variety
of foods to enhance its flavor and to
add more calories)

FOOD

(sugar, honey, and artificial sweeteners)

Dairy products
(powdered milk, wet milk (while it
can be kept cold), hard cheeses or
sealed and wrapped cheeses)

Drinks
(coffee, tea, cocoa, powdered drinks)

Canned food
(a variety with both starchy and nonstarchy vegetables, meats, fruit, and
soups)

Starches in a variety of forms

Now that you have your foodstuffs in place, you will need a way
to prepare and serve them. If you
want to use your water for cleaning
dishes you can use what is already
in your kitchen cabinets, but most
likely you will want to keep your
water for drinking and possibly
bathing or laundry. Keep in mind
that you will need pots and pans to
cook in, utensils to prepare and eat
your food, and a stove of some sort
to heat it with.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

DECEMBER 2014

The secret to food procurement


during an emergency situation, no
matter how long it lasts, is to keep it
simple. Keep the recipes simple and
keep the preparation time and effort
simple. Stocking your emergency
larder with the basics and choosing
easy-to-make meals will help significantly. Although it will require more
fuel to cook it, old standbys like
macaroni and cheese or peanut butter and jelly on bread are good
choices for this kind of scenario;
both have a long shelf life, are easy

123

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Being
Self-Sufficient

[LEFT TO RIGHT] Discounting the important of personal hygiene and basic medical needs is putting you at a high risk for infection, germs, and disease. A decent set of tools that are versatile, rugged, and well-built will not only last a long time, but they can be relied on when needed most.
Besides basic tools like a hammer, screwdrivers, and pliers, consider a camp axe, gloves, heavy-duty flashlight and extra batteries. The moraleboosting comfort of a light source is important, but dont rely on just one. A pair of old candles and matches will outlast a battery-operated lantern.
Also include a lighter or two, and if you have the means, a crank-powered lantern. Emergency situations sometimes require unpleasant tasks that
might put you in contact with things you would normally stay far away from. A non-flushing toilet might need to be cleaned or a body moved.
Depending on the situation, you want to protect your health as much as possible by keeping on hand several pairs of medical-grade latex gloves
and a few particle masks.

Checklist:
Something to cook in
(pots and pans)
(paper plates, cups, napkins, and
towels plus plastic eating utensils you
can clean or dispose of)

(Keep a stockpile of bottled water,


either individual bottles or the 2.5 or 5
gallon containers; you can also use
the current store and rotate in new
every month if you like)

Manual can openers

Unscented household bleach

(manual because your electric one


wont work, the typical two-handed
crank style works well, and so does
the old Army P-38)

(Common household bleach that is


not scented can be used to purify any
relatively clear water source (scented
bleach is poisonous)

Fuel for the stove

Water purification tablets or drops

(charcoal, isobutane, propane, or


plain old wood)

(These can also be used to purify


water and come with instructions on
how to use them)

Something to eat off of

Stove
(either a camping stove, backpacking
stove, or your backyard grill or fire pit)

DECEMBER 2014

WATER

124

Checklist:
Bottled water

Next to shelter, water is probably


your most critical resource and the
one you need the most of. Fortunately, it stores well for long periods
of time. Unfortunately, it does run
out eventually; so, if you are planning for a long term event or dont
have room to store a large supply of
water you will need a way to purify
and store it.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

Coffee filters
(Will serve you well to filter out particulate matter in water sources you
may need to use once supplies of
bottled water runs out)

Water purification pumps/filters


(These are used by backpackers and
hikers to filter and purify what from
streams, lakes and ponds; they
remove particulates, bacteria, and in
some cases viruses and chemicals)

POWER/ENERGY
Although most things that
require power are not necessities of

life, they do make things easier,


especially in an emergency since
information becomes much more
important to us. For that reason, you
want to be able to run small electronic devices and that means batteries and ways to keep them
charged.
Some people try to plan so they
can still do everything they do normally. Keep the refrigerator running,
watch television, run their computers, and so on. They dont realize
that by taking a picnic kind of view
of any emergency they face they
can make their preparations much
easier. You should use up any perishable foods in the refrigerator first,
just like they do in Florida with their
hurricane parties. When the power
goes out, or when you know it might,
go out and buy a large cooler and fill
it with block ice from the grocery or
liquor store. You can then transfer
any perishables to it when your
refrigerator eventually warms up.
We normally address our power
needs with batteries at first, followed by a generator later to keep
power hungry appliances like refrigerators running to keep our fresh

ASG_1412_THINGS 10/1/14 5:11 AM Page 125

food from spoiling. Since generators


require fuel to run, fuel which can be
in short supply in the long run, it is
often better to address your power
needs by using solar panels to
recharge your batteries or to keep a
battery pack of car batteries
charged. With the DC power in the
car batteries you can power lights
and with a power inverter you can
also keep things like radios or refrigerators running.
Checklist:
Batteries
(Rechargeable or regular for your
small electric or electronic devices
like smartphones, flashlights, or
radios)

Car batteries (12 volt)


(If you want to create a bigger and
longer term power supply you can do
this with some car batteries rigged in
series; combine it with a transformer
and a power inverter and you can use
it to power a wide variety of devices
and appliances)

Power generators

Solar panels

Power strips with surge protectors


(This is something that is often overlooked, but it is needed to safely and
easily distribute the power from your
generator)

LIGHT
The widespread use of the electric light had a major impact to daily
life of Americans in the 1800s. The
time available for doing things of
work and of leisure was instantly
lengthened and the day didnt end
when the sun went down. Being
able to see in the dark is also an
essential capability during an emergency, especially when they occur
after dark.
Checklist:
Flashlights
(Small handheld lights are easy to
store in each room of the house, a
headlamp is very useful as it gives
you light wherever you look without
tying up your hands)

Candles
(Candles have been used to light the
home for centuries and they still are
a good option; surrounding them
with a glass lamp or bowl will help

Behold, The
Versatile
Smartphone
Everything you get from your television, home computer, music system,
and land line telephone you can also
get from a smartphone. Here in the
Mid-Atlantic region, we get summer
power outages on a regular basis and
after my family and I got smartphones, the power outages didnt
impact our lives nearly as much as
before. With the right mix of apps you
can have at your fingertips:
> Current weather information
> Your email
> A working telephone
> Information from emergency management agencies
> Checklists for emergencies from the
Red Cross
> First aid instructions
> Music to keep your spirits up
> Movies to help pass the time
As for keeping it charged, you can top
it off each evening from your car battery, or do as I do on camping trips
and use extra batteries for Android
phones or extended life batteries for
iPhones. A solar panel is another
excellent way to keep your small electronics charged.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

DECEMBER 2014

(If the cost does not deter you, and


you want to go this route, you need to
decide what fuel you will use, if it will
be set up to come on automatically,
and what you want to run as that
determines the capacity you will
needgetting someone who knows
generators to advise you on this will
be time well spent)

(These get more affordable every year


and come in a variety of sizes to meet
a variety of needs; they are excellent
ways to keep your rechargeable batteries charged or topped off, a web
search for best solar panels will
show you a wide variety of options)

125

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Being
Self-Sufficient

[LEFT] Toothpaste and soap are things that last forever, and having an opportunity to wash up or brush your teeth can be a mental boost to your
morale. [RIGHT] Washing plates uses precious water, so keeping a pile of paper plates on hand ensures your food can be kept as clean as possible.
Paper towels and toilet paper are always a welcome addition when nature calls.

spread the light, the variety with wick


will give off more light for the same
amount of candle)

Lanterns
(Either battery powered or the camping variety that run off of propane or
isobutane)

HEAT AND COLD


Managing heat and cold is one of
mankinds oldest challenges. Fortunately for us it is also one that modern construction technique have
made simpler. The main thing to
consider is how to use areas like
basements where the temperature

stays around 60 degrees Fahrenheit


year-round to your advantage and
how to use your existing stock of
blankets and other insulating clothing to save on body heat. Keep in
mind what rooms are the best insulated, and depending on the season,
remember that the warm air will rise
and the cool air will settle to the
lower areas of the house.
Checklist:
Use the basement
(Once you get 6 feet below ground
level, the temperature will stay in the
same range of around 60 degrees

Fahrenheit at all times, so regardless of


season if you have a basement it will be
the most comfortable place in the
house)

Candles
(Any open flame, as in a candle, will
provide some heat, and in a small
area can do much to take the chill off
the room)

Space heaters
(If cold does become an issue, a
propane-fueled space heater is a very
good option and not too expensive;
buy it during the summer though, as
they tend to get scarce once the cold
weather arrives)

Alternative Cooking Systems

DECEMBER 2014

Cooking and providing heat will be one of your more challenging tasks in an emergency situation and if you are used to doing everything on the electric or gas range in your kitchen you may be at a bit of a loss. Fortunately, you likely have at least one of the following at home, or can go out and get
one now.

126

SYSTEM

FUEL

COOKING USES

HEATING THE HOUSE

Camp stove

Isobutane fuel

Cook anything you can on your kitchen stove

No, use it outdoors

Gas grill

Propane fuel

Heat pots of food, cook on a griddle, grill over flame,


bake pizza if you have a cover on the grill

No, use it outdoors

Charcoal grill

Charcoal or wood for fuel

Heat pots of food, cook on a griddle, grill over flame,


bake pizza and smoke food if you have a cover on the grill

No, use it outdoors

Wood stoves

Wood or pellet for fuel

Cook anything you can on your kitchen stove

Yes

Fireplace

Wood for fuel

Think campfire cooking; hot dogs on skewers,


anything in small pots

Yes

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

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ASG_1412_THINGS-CX 10/6/14 2:38 AM Page 128

Being
Self-Sufficient

AD INDEX
DECEMBER 2014

Regularly used
cleaning products
and first aid equipmenthowever
basicwill stave
off infections, sanitize cooking utensils, and lessen the
devastating effect
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AirForce Airguns . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .129


Blade-Tech Industries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7
Chiappa Firearms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .105

Several different
sources of fuel, from
propane to gas to
charcoal, will ensure
you have a readily
available means to
cook, boil water, keep
warm and provide
light. A small camp
stove can be stored
in small spaces and
carried easily when
on the move.

Jantz Supply . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .31, 61


Kershaw Knives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .33
LifeStraw . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .21
Major Surplus & Survival . . . . . . . . . . .50-51
Nitro-Pak . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3, 131
Primal Gear Unlimited LLC . . . . . . . . . . . .27
Ready Made Resources . . . . . . . . . . . . . .113
Scandinavian Tobacco Group . . . . . . . . . .15
Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc. . . . . . .34-35
Survival Bags Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .79
Tactical Night Vision Company . . . . . . . .132
TOPS Knives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2
Tormach LLC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .129

DECEMBER 2014

Ultra Holdings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .23

128

The Advertiser Index is provided as a service to American Survival Guide


readers. American Survival Guide is not responsible for
omissions or typographical errors on names or page numbers.

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

Warm clothing and bedding


(In extreme cases you can camp in
one of the better insulated rooms in
the house, using sleeping bags, quilts,
and other insulating bedding to create
a warm bed for you and your family)

MEDICAL
You can start with a basic first
aid kit to give you the band-aids and
ointments you need, then augment
it with more tape and gauze and the
things you need for more serious
problems like broken bones and
bleeding. Together with your augmented first aid kit you need to
make sure you get the training to be
able to use it effectively. This training can be taken from the American
Red Cross anywhere in the country.
Checklist:
Bandages
Hydrogen peroxide
Waterless hand sanitizer

Rubbing alcohol
Burn ointment
Compression bandages
Tourniquet
Antibiotics
Antiseptic
Pain killers
Anti-diarrheal
Anti-histamine

SANITATION
Often forgotten about when
planning for emergencies, but also
the most common cause of illness
during these times, sanitation is a
critical capability to be prepared for.
You need to be able to keep yourself
and your cooking materials clean at
all times.
Checklist:
Toilet paper
Bath soap
Waterless hand sanitizer
Bleach

ASG_1412_THINGS 10/1/14 5:11 AM Page 129

Enable Your Ideas with a PCNC Mill

Think Fast Food


When you think about what kinds of
food you want to stockpile, whether it is
for a short term event of just a day or
two or something that will be days or
weeks in duration, you should choose
think about things that are quick to prepare, only needing the addition of hot
water or a short time to heat through, or
those things that require little or no
clean up afterwards. The reason for this
is two-fold. First, anything that can save
you time will be helpful, since doing
other things will require more effort. Second, the less time it takes to prepare the
food, the less fuel you will use which will
help your fuel supply last longer.
Consider:
> Minute rice or instant rice rather than
regular rice
> Orzo pasta, instant stuffing mix, or
couscous that only takes five minutes
of hot water to prepare rather than
regular pastas that take 30 minutes of
time and fuel to prepare
> Lunch kits with sandwich spread and
crackers rather than bread and peanut
butter or canned meats

Trash bags
Re-sealable plastic bags
Rubbing alcohol
Hydrogen peroxide
Plastic dish scrubbers

MISCELLANEOUS
Man is the tool-making animal, and
that is because we discovered long
ago that having some extra materials
or tools makes doing many things
much easier and makes the quality of
what we do much higher.
Checklist:
Basic hand toolshammers, screw
drivers, wrenches, pliers, saws, level,
tape measure
Pocketknife
Duct tape
Heavy work gloves
Biography: Larry Schwartz is an experienced prepper,
outdoorsman, and hunter who enjoys passing on his
knowledge of the outdoors and how to Be Prepared
through his writing and workshops.

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ASG_1412_END 9/29/14 2:44 AM Page 130

DECEMBER 2014

One Nation Underground

130

By 1961, the atomic age


was in full swing, but not
until John F. Kennedy
returned from a meeting
with Soviet Premier Nikita
Khrushchev in Vienna did
the disconcerting fears
that collectively define
this era of American history hit home.
In a speech on July 26,
Kennedy declared, We do
not want to fight, but we
have fought before. The
iron curtain came crashing
down the following month,
and Kennedy proposed

AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE

spending $207.6 million for


a civil defense plan to
establish a system of fallout shelters throughout
the country.
The Secretary of
Defense created the Office
of Civil Defense, whose first
order of business was to
identify enough structures
(buildings, caves, mines,
etc.,) to keep roughly 50
million Americans safe
from nuclear fallout and to
stock those locations with
adequate provisions for
several weeks of survival.

One such place is the


Grand Canyon Caverns,
located on Historic Route 66
about 20 miles east of Peach
Springs, Ariz. Roughly 230
feet below ground level lies
a twisting complex of dry
caves, the largest of its type
in the United States.
It is so large, that small
fissures and tunnels lead
directly through the limestone to the Grand Canyon
60 miles away and supply
the caverns with fresh air
that takes two weeks to
make the journey.

In 1963, the Office of


Civil Defense added the
caverns to its growing list of
natural fallout shelters and
stocked one of the main
cathedrals with enough
food, water, and supplies to
feed and shelter 2,000 people for two weeks.
The Cold War-era stockpile is still there to this day,
and because of the constant
54 degrees and six percent
humidity, the contents (a
kind of hard tack, or biscuit)
are still edible after more
than 60 years underground.

IMAGE COURTESY OF GRAND CANYON CAVERNS

DEADEND

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ASG_1412_C4 9/29/14 1:31 AM Page C4

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