Friday, January 28, 2011

Planning for spring

Here it is the end of January and with basically just a couple of more weeks of cold weather, here in South Carolina, it is time to plan for spring.  I am not talking just about spring cleaning, I am talking mainly about spring maintainence on my gear.  some items need inspecting, some need replacing or rotated out, and others just need serviced.   I perform this task every spring and some of them I perform again in the winter.  the list is as follows.

  • Empty packs inspect for holes/wear and unwanted inhabitants (i.e. spiders, ants, etc.)
    • Repair holes or replace straps if needed.  
    • If Item has developed mold or mildew from the damp winter months I will clean with a mild dish solution, a stiff brush, and hot water.
  • Paracord straps are inspected and replace atleast every two years.  I'll still keep the old ones for lashing or whatever but for emergency  load bearing cordage I want it as fresh as possible. 
  • food items are inspected and replaced as needed. Done Spring and Fall
  • Emergency Fuel supplies are replenished and stoves cleaned.  Done Spring and Fall
  • Winter cold weather gear is cleaned and stored till next season. 
    • Warm Weather gear is aired out and inspected.  
    • Holes or tears are repaired.  
    • Items that cannot be repaired are replaced. 
    • Done in spring and late Fall.
  • Metal items are cleaned and Serviced.
    • Knives are inspected for oxidation and honed.  
    • Guns are stripped and throughly cleaned and serviced.
    • Cooking utensils and pans are inspected for damage and repaired/replaced. 
  • all storage containers are cleaned and refreshed. (Plastic bottles, small screw-top canisters, etc.)
    • all storage containers are placed in a container and covered in boiling water with bleach in it and soaked for 20 min then rinsed thoughly.  this kills any bacteria or parasites that have grown on/in them over the latent months.  
  • Emergency vehicle kit is inspected and serviced.
  • Emergency food in vehicle is replaced.
  • Shoe laces are replaced and boots inspected for seam seperation or wear.
  • medical supplies are rotated and replaced as needed.
With some careful planning and care you will stand a better chance coming out of an emergency alive.  Am I doing too much well,  I know that some people don't do a full strip on their guns or sharpen their knives because they have not been used. Nor do they take the time to refresh or sanitize their storage items or replace their cordage.   It is my philosophy that I would rather take the time to know it is clean or sharp than to get into a situation that I need the item to find out otherwise.  So take the time to service your gear, IT COULD SAVE YOUR LIVE!

Monday, January 24, 2011

A Life by Example

     Heroes, those to whom we look up to and strive to become.  Everyone has a hero. As a child my hero was my uncle, who always had a smile on his face.  As I grew older I set values for life and my vision of heroism changed.  My heroes today are numerous and for varied reasons.  Jesus Christ, for teaching me love and compassion. My parents, for teaching me to see a lot in very little.  My children for teaching me that life is better viewed while looking up at it. There are others on the list but that is for another time.  
    Throughout history there have been individuals that have stood heroically tall while the world around them walked by, only to notice them when their work was finished.  Today there are those among us that are standing tall holding their banners for all to see.  Our American Soldiers top that list.  Fighting a war they did not ask for and asking only that we support them.  Teachers, Firefighters, and Law Enforcement, all providing a service, for little or no pay. 
     Too many heroes to list, and while I could speak at length on any one of the above groups I wish today, to pay tribute to a new kind of hero.  A hero that has not been present in nearly 100 years, I am speaking about the pioneer.  We have become so socialized in our lives that we have forgotten or just plain given up the skills and knowledge that founded this and other great nations.  Today many across our nation, said to be one of the greatest nations on Earth, children are starving and homeless.  Jobs are declining and poverty is rising at an alarming rate.  Out of the turmoil, a voice is raised saying “Follow me, I will show you the way.”
     The Pioneer as defined by Webster’s Dictionary is, “[someone] Leading the way; trailblazing”.  Throughout history there have been Pioneer’s in every culture.  Some of them called by different names including, trailblazer, pathfinder, mountain man, and scout.  These individuals went ahead and learned the areas and then trained others in their survival arts and with each passing, the wild areas became less wild and the pioneer moved on to another area to repeat the process.  Pioneers have always gone before us leading the way and teaching us what we need. 
     The pioneer is alive and well even today in our civilized culture.  The need for alternative energy, food, and shelter has brought forth the knowledge holders and they are ready to pass on their knowledge.  Though they are few and they cannot reach all those that need it.  Therefore, the obligation falls to you and I. 

A return to first principles in a republic is sometimes caused by the simple virtues of one man. His good example has such an influence that the good men strive to imitate him, and the wicked are ashamed to lead a life so contrary to his example.
~Niccolo Machiavelli

    One man, that is all it takes.  While there are those out there, like Dave Canterbury and Cody Lundin, that are already standing up and spreading the knowledge.  There needs to be more.  While it only takes one man to start something it takes another to pass it on further.  There are many such Daves and Codys in the world that are not standing.  They are living their own lives and letting the world live it’s.  Now is a call to those that are sitting by, it is our time to step up to the mark.  Let us spread the knowledge and prepare the next generation to survive.   So as you finish reading this, make ready your kits, and toe the line with me.  Stand tall and let your voices ring loud as you proclaim:
“Follow me, I will show you the way.”