How to be a Prepper

how to be a prepperIf you stumbled across this page you’re probably thinking “just what the world needs, another series on How to be a Prepper – NOT. Especially one written by a prepping newbie? You’ve GOT to be kidding…” A few months ago I’d have thought the same thing. I mean, there are already probably at least a billion or so prepping sites, most run by certified prepping experts. What could a newbie prepper possibly have to add to the conversation? Well, after spending way too much time reading a lot of these “expert” prepper sites, in my not so humble opinion I do indeed have something to add to the conversation. So here is my introduction on how to be a prepper from a newbies’ perspective.

About those expert preppers…

First of all, what makes someone an expert prepper? How long they’ve been prepping? I don’t think that means as much as you’d think. Here’s an analogy: My wife has been driving for almost 20 years. She is most definitely NOT an expert driver. Does writing about prepping make one an expert? No. Knowing a lot about something doesn’t make one an expert. One of my English teachers in college proudly displayed a sign in her office that stated “A Good Teacher Can Teach Anything.” That theory fell apart when I asked if she could help me with my calculus homework.

So, what makes someone an expert prepper? Experience is important, but demonstrable skill is more important. Knowledge is important but when you yourself are just starting out, how can you tell good info from BS? Does the expert actually know what he’s writing about or is he blowing smoke out of his a**? Follow this series and you’ll learn how to spot the fakes and tell who has actual good advice. Hint: if the expert insists that his scenario is the only scenario worth prepping for and not following his advice will lead to your death, it’s probably a good idea to look elsewhere. Same thing if their writings are packed with “convenient” links to Amazon so you can purchase all the gear they’ve “tested” and recommend.

How to be a prepper

If you’re just getting into prepping, it might seem overwhelming. Especially if you visit some of the more “gloom and doom” oriented prepper sites. Prepping can also get expensive. In fact if your preps are realistic, it will be expensive over the long run. Don’t worry, you don’t have to buy everything today. Keep in mind that prepping makes the most sense if it makes your life better whether or not things go bad.

This post (and hopefully more to follow) is my reaction to some of what I see as idiocy in the prepping community. That includes things I’ve read on prepper blogs (even ones written by “experts”) and stuff I’ve read in prepping books I’ve bought. I won’t even get into the idiocy that goes on in Facebook prepper groups and internet forums…

Soon to come on “How to Be a Prepper”:

That’s it for this time. If you have any questions or comments about how to be a prepper, please chime in with your ideas.

Peace out,

My AR-15

my ar-15I’ve been ordering back issues of Backwoodsman Magazine, and the latest batch got here today. In the Jan/Feb 2013 issue there is an article by Mickey Eckhoff titled My Ruger Mini-14. As the former owner of a Mini-14 I really enjoyed reading it. As the current owner of an AR-15, I found his comments on the AR-15 interesting. I figure it’s worth throwing in my 2 cents on the subject of Mini-14 vs AR-15, so let me tell you about my AR-15…

Ruger Mini-14

I used to own a Mini-14 and I loved it. Actually I owned 3 – a standard blued model, a stainless Ranch Rifle, and a Mini-30. All were reliable and accurate enough for me. The styling can’t be beat IMO. I love the classic M1 looks. The action is gas piston which some claim is more reliable than the direct impingement system used by the AR.

The downside to Ruger’s Mini series is they’re proprietary. If you want extra magazines you buy Ruger mags. If you want to change the stock there are maybe 2 or 3 choices. The stock barrel has a 1-9 twist which limits you to bullets weighing 69 grains or less. If you want to re-barrel a Mini-14, you’d better know a gunsmith that knows how to do it.

In spite of the downsides, I liked my Ruger Minis, and they were only sold because of financial difficulties I was having at the time. I think they’re nice guns and I wish I still had them. Enough about that though, I want to talk about my AR-15…

If looks could kill…

I’ll be the first to admit that the AR-15 is ugly compared to more classically styled guns (like the Mini-14). I’m a traditionalist, and I like my guns with richly figured wood stocks and blued metal. The AR-15 is plastic and dull metal. The visuals are definitely an acquired taste. Because of it looks like a military M-16, the AR-15 can draw unwanted attention. I realize that’s not the fault of the gun, but still it’s a fact. The direct impingement gas system runs a little dirtier than a piston system, so you might have to clean it a little more often. All in all though I find the benefits of the AR system far outweigh the negatives.

AR-15 Versatility

OK, enough about looks. My AR-15 is a shooter’s gun, not a safe queen. One of the best things about the AR-15 is its versatility. Don’t like the stock? Get a different one – there are dozens of choices. Same thing with the trigger, fore end, whatever – the AR-15 is probably the easiest gun on the planet to customize. Need to shoot heavy bullets? For the AR you can get barrels with a fast enough twist to stabilize a 90 gr. VLD bullet. Try that with a Mini-14…

Even better than parts selection is workability. Most firearms require specialized tools and high skill levels for anything more than the most basic gunsmithing. My AR-15 on the other hand is a DIYer’s dream. Anyone with average mechanical skills and a small set of tools can fix any problem that might come up on an AR-15. Broken bolt? No problem, order a new one and replace it yourself. Worn out barrel? Same thing… The AR-15 is so easy to work on that you can fix just about anything that goes wrong yourself. You can even build one yourself from parts.

My AR-15

The lead picture is my AR-15. I built it myself, exactly the way I wanted it. This is my truck gun so I chose a fixed stock. It would have been just as easy to make it with a collapsible stock. The barrel is 16″ long with a 1:7 twist. It’s made from 4150 steel and it’s chrome lined. It will stabilize bullets up to 77 gr. and will probably last longer than the non-lined 4140 steel barrel on a Mini-14. Accuracy is at least as good as the Mini-14.

Since the upper receiver is machined with a Picatinny mount, I can choose whatever rear sight I want. I decided on an HK-style sight from Brownells. The front sight is also the gas block, and I chose a standard M4 Carbine fore end. It would have been just as easy to use a low profile gas block and free floating fore end. After the picture was taken, I added an Eotech red dot sight that works well with the irons.

I’ve since built another AR-15 for hunting. My hunting AR has a collapsible stock, free floating fore end, and a 3×9 scope. It’s chambered for 6.8 SPC, which I think is better for deer than 5.56. Like my truck gun, it was built using off the shelf parts, no custom work needed. Also like my truck gun, it worked perfectly from the start. That’s just how AR’s are…

AR-15 for the Backyardsman…

I really think an AR-15 comes close to being a perfect gun for the backwoodsman or backyardsman. You can build and maintain an AR-15 yourself without expensive tools like a lathe. It’s easy to pick your caliber (at least 11) based on intended use. Accuracy potential is at least as good as any other semiautomatic rifle.

So when you’re thinking about your next rifle, don’t look down on the AR-15. It has a lot going for it, and IMO is pretty close to perfect as a backwoodsman/backyardsman rifle.

Peace out,

What did you do to prep this week?

I spent most of the week laid up with a bad knee. Naturally that meant more time surfing the web so I bought some stuff for my survival kit I’m putting together from The Art of Keeping Your Ass Alive. Yes, I too am shocked at how long it’s taking to recover this time. Even today (Sunday) I’m not back to 100% in the knee, and both ankles are sore. At least I can walk and drive now. Anyway…

Shemagh. Cody’s book calls for a bandanna. The shemagh is a little bigger so I figure it will work better as a head wrap and sun protection so I decided to substitute it for the bandanna. Depending on how much room I have in my pack, I might throw in a bandanna along with it, or maybe a second shemagh.

Grabber All Weather Space Blanket. This is heavier duty than the cheap little space blankets you can get so it can be used for a ground tarp or to make an emergency shelter. Cody’s book recommends the one that’s blaze orange on one side (for signaling) but I cheaped out and got the blue one.

Grabber Outdoors Original Space Blanket Gold/Silver. The cheap little space blanket mentioned above. I followed the recommendation in the book and got the silver/gold combo. These things reflect heat really well. They can help retain body heat when it’s cold and protect you from the sun when it’s hot. Also good for signalling. The price was right so I got 2.

SOL Howler Rescue Whistle. Plastic, pea-less so they won’t freeze up, and supposedly loud. Haven’t had a chance to test them yet.

Coghlan 2×3 Survival Signal Mirror. This was another case of me being cheap. The book recommends a 3×5 mirror, but that size costs almost $30(!!!). Even at that price, it’s lexan and not real glass. The Coghlan gets the best reviews I could find (and I read a lot – who knew something as simple as a mirror could be so complicated?) and only cost $10. Just be aware that if you order from Amazon it won’t come in retail packaging. It is the genuine Coghlan though.

3-Pack Credit Card Fresnel Lenses. I haven’t had a chance to start a fire with them yet, but they do focus the sun. Maybe next week…

Two 32 oz. Nalgene water bottles. A few weeks ago I bought some stainless steel water bottles. They’re nice, sturdy, insulated, and heavy. The Nalgene bottles are light weight and probably sturdy enough. I’m trying to keep my kit somewhat light, so Nalgene it is. The SS bottles will go in my Get Home Bag.

Well, that’s about it for this week. If my knee continues to heal I hope to test out some of my fire starters soon. What did you do to prep this week?


Cody’s Book – The Art of Keeping Your Ass Alive

98.6 Degrees: The Art of Keeping Your Ass Alive (referred to from here on as Cody’s book) is probably the best survival book I’ve read. There are a few reasons… First, it does one thing and does it very well. A lot of books I’ve read try to do too many things and as a result fail to do any of them very well. Second, the author is a bona fide primitive skills and survival expert. This book is full of information based on actual research and experience, not (as he puts it) copied from the old Air Force survival manual. Third, the information given is well researched. Fourth, the information is presented in an easily readable, entertaining style. Finally, unlike some survival authors, Mr. Lundin doesn’t come off as an arrogant prick. He’s very down to earth, seems like someone I’d enjoy hanging out with.

Cody’s book

98.6 – The Art of Keeping Your Ass Alive, part one

  • Foreword, Check This Out!, and Why a Survival Kit? make up the introduction to Cody’s book and cover the what, why, and how. Even though it’s “just” the introduction, it’s worth reading because it will give you insight into the rest of the book
  • Survival Situations: How Do They Start? – Chapter 1 could have been titled “Don’t Be Stupid.” If everyone followed the advice in this chapter, the rest of the book might not be needed (just kidding).
  • Survival vs. Primitive Living, or “Living Off the Land” – Chapter 2 is a great discussion on surviving (i.e. Keeping Your Ass Alive) vs “primitive way more than  survival skills.” Since Mr. Lundin teaches both, I trust him way more than many of the “survival experts” I’ve read in print or online. I’m pretty sure a lot of Sacred Cows died in the writing of Chapter 2…
  • Survival Psychology and the Importance of Proper Prior Training – Chapter 3 talks about the importance of (proper) attitude, (correct) training, repetition, and practicing your skills. I’m sure you’ve encountered “keyboard commandos” who love to brag about all their cool gear but haven’t ever used it except maybe to jerk off over. This chapter helps you see how full of crap those kind are.
  • Why Fear Sucks – Chapter 4 explains the negative effects that fear will have on your ability to live through a survival situation AND teaches you how to not succumb to fear.
  • Dealing with the Survival Scenario: Attitude, Adaptation, and Awareness – Chapter 5 teaches the importance of a positive attitude, developing the skills to adapt to different situations (vs. relying on “more stuff”), and the importance of situational awareness.
  • Reducing the Threat of the Survival Situation: The 7 Ps – Chapter 6 discusses the physical aspect of preparing to keep your ass alive in a survival situation.
  • What it Takes to Stay Alive – Chapter 7 does a great job of tying together the first part of Cody’s book. After reading part 1 you should have a  good idea of what it takes to keep your ass alive in a survival situation

The Art of Keeping Your Ass Alive, part two

  • The Most Common Way to Push Up Daisies in the Outdoors – Chapter 8 explains the most common ways to die in a survival situation. Guess what? It’s not grizzly bears or brain eating zombies. It’s not being swept away in a tidal wave or avalanche. It’s not even falling off a cliff. The reality is much more boring – simple exposure. I expect more sacred cows lost their lives in the writing of this chapter.
  • How Your Body Loses and Gains Heat – Chapter 9 explains the physiology of why you might get hypothermia or hypothermia in preparation for Chapter 10.
  • Your First Line of Defense – Chapter 10 teaches you how to stay cool in hot weather and warm in cold weather. It goes into great detail on clothing choices. It explains climate acclimation. It tells you how to generate heat and stay hydrated and lots more. This is one of the longest chapters in the book and should be studied closely.
  • About Your Rescuers – Chapter 11 talks about Search and Rescue (SAR) operations from the perspective of the rescuers. The information in this chapter will help you avoid doing stupid things that will make it harder for your rescuers  to find you.
  • Helping Rescuers Bring You Back Alive – Chapter 12 expands greatly on Chapter 11. Besides helping you avoid doing stupid things, it gives you proactive steps to help your rescuers find you. Hopefully while you’re still alive.

The Art of Keeping Your Ass Alive, part three

  • What is a Survival Kit? – After explaining how to stay alive and get found, Chapter 13 explains what a survival kit is. Not only that, but things you need to consider when putting together your personal kit.
  • Survival Kit Components – Chapter 14 is my favorite chapter in the book. In this chapter, Cody gives a detailed description for every item in his survival kit. Not only that, but also detailed reasoning on why each item is included in the kit. In my opinion, this chapter is a “must read” for anyone putting together their own survival kit.

The Art of Keeping Your Ass Alive, part four

Chapters 15 and 16 wrap up the book. Chapter 15 is Cody’s final thoughts on the book. Chapter 16 is a summary of the first 3 parts and info on choosing an instructor if you decide that formal, in person training is something you want.

Cody’s book, my final thoughts

I love this book. It’s the best written survival book I’ve read, and I’ve read a few. The writing style and illustrations make it fun to read, not just informative. Most of the Chapters are short, but all are packed with good information and solid advice. On a scale of 1 – 10, I give 98.6 Degrees: The Art of Keeping Your Ass Alive a 10. That’s not an exageration either. Cody’s book really is that good, especially compared to some of the other survival books on the market.

Peace out,

What did you do to prep this week?

This week I got to spend a lot of time thinking about the consequences of not taking care of myself. On Tuesday I sprained my right ankle really bad. Instead of taking care of it, I just pressed on. Since my left leg was now doing all the work of keeping me mobile, the extra stress caused my left knee to blow out on Thursday. Since I’m “getting older” it takes awhile to recover from stuff like this, and I’m still pretty much immobile as of this Sunday afternoon. Not complaining, just saying. Plus the budget was tight this week…

In spite of that, I did manage to get a few more preps taken care of:

Estwing Sportsman’s Axe. Not sure if this would be considered a prep item or a homesteading item. I got it for processing fire wood. I have a few bushcraft style knives, but the thought of abusing them by batoning wood always bothered me. I mean “right tool for the right job,” right? So I got an Estwing 14″ axe. It will save my knives from abuse and I’ve always been a sucker for a nice leather handle.

Reading glasses. No matter how well prepped you are, sometimes you’re going to need to read. Without reading glasses that’s dang near impossible if you can’t see up close without them. Costco had 3-packs on sale for $14.99 so now I have a pair for survival kit, my get home bag, and my bugout bag. I’ll probably pick up another pack before the sale is over.

Gorilla Tape. Duct tape has lots of uses around the homestead, around the house, and in the… well, wherever you might be. It’s also recommended by lots of people for survival kits. Since I’m building a survival kit, I decided to pick up a roll. I chose Gorilla Tape because it has a stronger grip than the other tapes I tried.

That’s it for me, what did you do to prep this week?

Peace out,


Radios for the Backyardsman – Baofeng UV-5R

backwoodsman magazineI love reading The Backwoodsman. It’s probably my favorite magazine and one of their articles was the inspiration for this blog. Their May/June 2017 issue had a great piece titled Radios For The camp And Cabin. You might be thinking “Who needs a radio? Mountain men didn’t need radios and neither do I.” That is at least half true. It’s also true that the average life span of a mountain man was 37 years, partly because communications way back when were limited. I’d kind of like to live longer than that. Anyway, the article in question makes a really good case for having a radio, and talks about several types of radios the aspiring backwoodsman/backyardsman might find useful. I want to talk about another one, the Baofeng UV-5R.

Baofeng UV-5R

The Baofeng UV-5R is an FM handheld transceiver (HT) that operates on the 70cm and 2m amateur radio bands. Because it’s FM only, it can’t receive AM broadcast band or shortwave. I think that’s a small price to pay for what it does offer. Besides operating on 70cm and 2M, the UV-5R can receive FM commercial stations and NOAA Weather Alert frequencies. Its band range also covers FRS and GMRS radio bands, commercial aircraft, and some emergency bands. In my opinion, this wide band FM coverage outweighs the lack of AM reception. Plus, the UV-5R can transmit…

Which could cause problems… it is illegal to transmit on the amateur radio bands without a license. That shouldn’t be a problem, because the license is easy and cheap to get – $15 for the exam processing fee and around $30 for study materials. If you’re sharp and have a good memory you can skip the study materials and practice with free online tests until you feel confident to pass the actual exam. Another problem is that it’s illegal to transmit with these on the FRS/GRMS channels even though the radios are capable of it. The solution to that is to practice self discipline.

Programming the UV-5R

Programming the Baofeng UV-5R is easy as long as you have a programming cable and software. The programming cable costs about $30 and the software (CHIRP) is free. It’s easy to set up and configure, and you can find sample configuration files easily with the help of Google or your favorite search engine.

Some things to think about…

If you do a Google search for ‘UV-5R’, you’ll find that some people love them and some hate them. The main complaints from the haters are that Baofengs transmit out of frequency, cause interference with others trying to operate on the same frequency, and have poor reception. In my experience, none of these are true. My UV-5R gets signal reports just as good as my Yaesu VX-6R and I’ve never had a complaint about causing interference on channel. Reception is at least as good as the VX-6R.

The Baofeng is also made in China, which some people seem to have a problem with. The only issue for me is that if you don’t buy from a Baofeng authorized US dealer, you’ll be sending your radio back to China for warranty work. The only authorized US dealer I know of is BaofengTech, and they no longer carry the UV-5R. They do sell the UV-5X3 (a 3-band version of the UV-5R) and the BF-F8HP (a higher output version of the UV-5R).

Speaking for myself, I think the value of the UV-5R is pretty hard to beat. They’re still available on Amazon for less than $25, and at that price point I don’t really care about the warranty. My only worry is how long will they be available for less than $25?

Alternatives to the UV-5R

When the supply runs out, there are still good deals on other HT 2-way radios. The UV-5X3 is similar to the UV-5R but costs a little over twice as much (about $60). For the higher price you get a 3rd band (1.25 m) and better display options. The 1.25 m band isn’t useful IMHO because it requires a separate antenna, but the “display sync” is a really nice feature.

The Baofeng BF-F8HP acts like a UV-5R and kind of looks like one but with an updated case. It’s maximum transmit power is 8 watts vs. 5 for the UV-5R, but in the real world that doesn’t get you much (if any) extra range. It costs about $63 from BaofengTech. If US-based warranty service is important on a new Baofeng is important, you’ll want one of these.

A final Baofeng option is the Baofeng UV-5R V2+. I don’t have any experience with this radio or the vendor (Shelfspace Security, sold through Amazon). It looks like a UV-5R with a different case. The vendor claims to offer US-based warranty repairs, but personally I’d verify before buying.

I do not worry about or prepare for an emergency

Prepping for emergencies – or not?

I hope I misread this post… “I do not worry about or prepare for an emergency.” Really? Then what are you prepping for? Here is the full quote some more to provide context:

The word “emergency” was first known and used circa 1631 and is defined as follows:

1: an unforeseen combination of circumstances or the resulting state that calls for immediate action

2: an urgent need for assistance or relief the mayor declared a state of emergency after the flood

We, the happy members of “the never well united and non-governmental superior order of universal disaster response practitioners”, are proud to be recognized as “ the perpetually persistent preppers, or the “three peas in the prepper pod”. However, we are also very often guilty of preparing for the wrong event, at the wrong time, with the wrong intents, and finally with the wrong tools.

I do not worry about or prepare for an emergency. Never. Because we have town people who are our local professionals, and they are well trained for almost every type of emergency anyone could ever think of. We know them personally.

Please look at and then think carefully about the dictionary language concerning the word “emergency” shown above from an analytical or usage viewpoint, as is often used by your good buddy, myself, Old Bobbert.

So if I’m not misreading this, an emergency is something unforeseen that requires immediate action or assistance. OK. And we’re NOT supposed to prepare for those things?

I can think of at least a few things that, if they happened to my family, would be “unforeseen.” At the same time, I need to be prepared in case they DO happen.

For example, a house fire. In 53 years, I’ve never experienced a house fire, and they’ve been extremely rare wherever I’ve lived. Would that qualify them as “unforeseen”? I say yes. At the same time, as rare as they are, there are common sense steps I take (aka “prepping”) in the extremely unlikely event that my house catches on fire. I have smoke detectors and I check them regularly to make sure they work. I have a family evacuation plan in case the house catches on fire. I have another plan to go back in to look for family members if I don’t find them outside. REALLY important stuff is in a place I can easily grab on the way out the door. Less important stuff is in a fireproof safe.

Are doing these things a bad idea? Should I have saved the money I spent on the safe and the time I spend prepping my family in case we have a house fire? After all, I could just call 911 and wait for the highly trained professionals to take care of it.

What about a home invasion? Should I prepare for that, or just call 911 if it happens and hope the police show up in time to prevent any violence against my family? I don’t think I’m in danger of losing my job, but what happens if I do? Should I hope my friends and family take care of me, should I demand that government take care of me, or should I do things NOW to prepare for the possibility of a job loss?

What really bugs me about the post is I’ve read other things by Old Bobbert, and usually they contain a lot of common sense. Not this one though. The irony is, with the exception of the great depression America has never gone through a TEOTWAWKI situation. People constantly have little and big emergencies in their lives though, and this guy is telling us NOT to prepare for those. Just prep for something that has happened only once in the history of our nation.

Yep, sure. I like the author and I like the site he posted on. I hope I misread what he was trying to say.

Peace out,

Backyard as Base Camp

backyard as base campDo you want to spend more time in the back woods but don’t have the time? Does limiting yourself to Backyardsman status make you wish you could be a real backwoodsman? I say you’re thinking about it the wrong way. Don’t think about being limited to your back yard. Instead, think of your back yard as base camp. If you put yourself in the right frame of mind, your backyard won’t be a limit on learning backwoods skills…

But I can’t do this in my backyard…

Obviously there are some things you can do in the back woods that you probably can’t do in your backyard. Hunting and fishing are probably out. Unless your backyard is a forest you might not be gathering fire wood. You probably also won’t be tracking wild game or finding ancient artifacts. So the back yard is a poor substitute for the back woods, right? Well, not so fast…

Things you can do in the backyard…

If you want to be a backwoodsman but you’re stuck with your backyard, the last paragraph might be depressing. It shouldn’t be. Sure there are some things you can do in the back woods that you can’t do in your backyard. When you think about it, not that many things though. For starters, in your own backyard, you can…

  • build a fire ring and practice fire starting methods
  • pitch a tent and introduce your family to camping
  • build an emergency shelter
  • build a more permanent shelter
  • practice trapping techniques (yes, even in the city)
  • practice water collection methods
  • learn how to predict weather by watching clouds
  • use your backyard as a base camp for exploring your neighborhood

I could go on but I think you get the idea. Don’t look at your backyard as your entire (non) backwoods world. It’s much bigger than that – but only if you think…

Backyard as Base Camp

The early American mountain men didn’t find some little spot of land, build a cabin, call it their own, then proceed to spend all there time in one little spot. They explored. They may have had a home base, but it was just that – a base for their explorations. I’d bet even Thoreau didn’t spend all his time in his cabin on Walden Pond.

There are lots of backwoodsman things you can do in your backyard, but so much more if you use your backyard as merely a base camp. Hike. Explore your AO (Area of Operation). Gaze at the stars. Gather plants. Learn where you can hunt or fish without driving for hours.

Making a Rabbit Stick

rabbit stickI’m looking into ways of legally hunting in my neighborhood. Guns are out (including air guns), and hunting with a bow is also illegal within city limits. Last week I experimented with a pigeon trap. This week I decided to make a rabbit stick. A rabbit stick, aka throwing stick, is one of the most primitive hunting tools you can use. Even so, it can be very effective if you have the skill to use it. Most importantly to me, it might be legal to use. Still need to check those game laws though…

Making a rabbit stick

Making the rabbit stick was really easy. I had a bunch of locust wood from a tree we took down earlier this year. Locust wood is pretty strong and dense so I figured it would work good as a throwing stick. I picked a piece about 2 inches in diameter and cut it to match the distance from my finger tips to my arm pit. That’s the length Dave Canterbury recommends in his book Advanced Bushcraft. After messing with it a little, I decided it felt too long so I cut it shorter. Now it reaches from my palm to the middle of my bicep. Feels a lot handier, but still long and heavy enough to hopefully do the job on rabbits.

This is a nice simple project that doesn’t require and power tools or special skills to make. I used a bow saw to cut the wood to length, then my Condor Bushlore knife to smooth it out, strip the bark, and put a little bevel on each end. It looks OK but I’ll probably but some linseed oil on it so the wood doesn’t dry out and crack.

Using the rabbit stick

It turns out it’s a lot easier to make a rabbit stick than it is to use it effectively. You have to throw it side armed instead of overhand, and it takes some practice to be able to throw it accurately. I’m getting there, but I’m not quite there yet with accuracy. Also, you have to throw it hard enough to put the rabbit down.

Speaking of that, have you ever heard an injured rabbit scream? The sound is well, lets just say you’re going to get a lot of unwanted attention. Make sure you’re close enough to finish the job quickly. Before the neighbors call the cops or whatever. Oh, and check local game laws before trying this at home…

A good first project

If you’ve never done any bushcraft before, a rabbit stick makes a good first project. It’s simple to make and gives you practice with a bow saw and knife. I kept mine really simple, but there are some really nice rabbit stick projects you can find online with a little searching.

Learning to use your rabbit stick helps build your hand-eye coordination, skill at judging distances, and hopefully will provide you with some tasty dinners. Make one and have fun.

Peace out,

What did you do to prep this week?

Unfortunately I didn’t do much. We’re still working on getting our rental house fixed and my job is still crazy. It was such a messed up week that I decided to postpone taking my FCC General class license test. Didn’t want to, but part of being a prepper is the ability to adapt and shift priorities, right? At least I managed to get a couple things done…

I spent some more time (actually all my free time) reading Cody Lundin’s 98.6 – The Art of Keeping Your Ass Alive. I love this book and this isn’t a sales pitch (notice the lack of an affiliate link to buy it). If you’re interested in keeping your ass alive you should read this book. Well worth the time to read and his ideas on survival kits seem very solid. I ordered some stuff for my survival kit: an emergency whistle, signal mirror, light and heavy space blankets, and a shemagh. I’m still looking for strike anywhere matches and adjustable butane lighters.

I went to my first Permaculture Meetup which was interesting. I like the idea of permaculture, but the people I met who are really into it treat it as almost a religion. Kind of creepy, but they were nice. I did learn something about raising worms. Also went to monthly Preppers Meetup. Lots of good info and discussion, and I can relate to the regulars. Not sure I’ll ever fit in with the permaculture group.

Preppers gotta eat too, so I experimented with a few alt food sources. First thing to try was a pigeon trap. I didn’t trap any pigeons, but I learned a lot about what kind of birds you might attract. Sparrows, quail, blue jays, dove, and yes the occasional pigeon. The only birds I successfully trapped were dove, and I let them go. Hoping I can get more done next week,

So… what did YOU do to prep this week?

Peace out,