Archive for June, 2010

Dual Survival

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

For those of you who are into the survival type shows like Man Vs. Wild (my least favorite btw) or Survivorman, Discovery has put out an all-new 10-part series called Dual Survival. Dual Survival follows two survival experts, military-trained Dave Canterbury and minimalist and naturalist Cody Lundin. The show airs every Friday night at 10pm EST.

The premise of the show is to take these two experts, who have very different philosophies on how to survive in the wild, and throw them into some of the planet’s most unforgiving terrain to demonstrate how the right skills and some creative thinking can keep you alive. It’s pretty entertaining to see how they have to work together — despite the differences in philosophy — in order to reach the common goal of getting out alive.

I’ve been following (and learning from) both Dave and Cody for a few years now. They are both excellent teachers and very skilled at what they do. It’s comforting to finally see some top-rate wilderness survival experts being depicted on these survival shows (although entertaining, I don’t find Bear Grilles show very accurate or educational).

If you’re interested in learning from David or Cody (which I would highly recommend either of their schools), here’s their info:

david canterbury David Canterbury owns and operates the Pathfinder School out of southern Ohio. He’s got a great collection of YouTube videos that you can find on the wildernessoutfitters channel. He’s also got some great online classes/certification programs that you can find on his website.
cody lundin Cody Lundin is the founder of the Aboriginal Living Skills School. With more than 22 years of southwestern experience, ALSS is one of the premier survival schools to attend if you want to know how to survive in desert and arid environments.

The Tactical Intelligence News Brief: California on the Verge of System Failure

Monday, June 28th, 2010

What is Happening

Although this should come as no surprise to most of my readers, we are seeing more and more evidence that California is hemorrhaging and on the verge of complete collapse. To put it in perspective, they are so far in the hole that it would take freeing 168,000 prison inmates and permanently closing 240 university and community college campuses just to balance its budget in the fiscal year that begins July 1.

California, once the third-largest economy in the world, is becoming the next Greece. The California government has spent so far beyond its means that mass layoffs, a failing infrastructure, and welfare reductions that leave a million children and the poor and elderly without the services they need are now the norm.

Unemployment in some areas of California is at Great Depression levels. In fact, the total number of people unemployed in the state of California is equal to the populations of Nevada, Vermont, and New Hampshire combined.

On top of that, California’s health care system is also on the verge of system failure.  Over the past ten years, dozens of California hospitals and emergency rooms have shut down. Why? They weren’t able to keep up with the endless influx of illegal immigrants, unemployed Californians and homeless people who could not pay for the services that they were receiving.

As a result, the rest of the health care system in California is now completely overloaded and long waits, and even unnecessary patient deaths are becoming commonplace.

To resolve this issue, California policy makers are begging the Federal Government for bailout funds proclaiming that they too are “too big to fail”.

What This Means

As California goes, so goes the nation.

Even if you don’t live in California, this should give you reason to be concerned. California’s economy is very much intertwined with the rest of the nation. If California fails, be prepared to see the rest of the country to soon follow suit.

Besides that point, California is not the only state on the verge of bankruptcy (Florida, New York etc). The whole nation is infected.

We have become entitlement slaves

This once strongly independent and fiercely self-reliant country has turned into a population of entitlement slaves. Too many are dependent upon and expect to continue to be supported by government dole-outs. But this is completely unsustainable as we are seeing.

The system throughout the U.S. (and world) is collapsing and unless we revert back to the principles that founded this country (self-reliance, frugality, industry, faith) we all — not just California — are doomed to follow Greece.

As a side note, I find it ironic that the government of California — an overspending, overpromising, in-debt-up-to-its-eyeballs behemoth — is petitioning to an overspending, over promising, in-debt-up-to-its-eyeballs behemoth for a bailout. There’s something just not right about that.

How Does this Affect You?

If the saying “as California goes, so goes the nation” is true, we are in a world of hurt. For this purpose, if you haven’t yet, you’ll need to get yourselves prepared.

For you newbies who might be overwhelmed and not know where to begin, I’ve written some articles that lay out the process and begin with the basics:

Food & Water Storage and Beyond

Food & water storage should be the first thing you prepare your family with. It’s not just for end-of-the-world emergencies —  it’s pure common sense (ie you lose your job, food prices go through the roof with the devaluation of the currencies etc).

Here is a list of articles that details where to begin and where to go from there:

How to Get Great Gear Cheap with Craigslist Notifications

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

For many of you new to the preparedness/survivalist/prepper scene, you may be quite daunted with the sheer amount of “stuff” you need to buy in order to feel fully prepared. Everything from communication gear, to hunting equipment, to camping gear can put you back several thousands of dollars.

Although there are always cheaper options with regards to gear, unfortunately as the saying goes, “you get what you pay for” — and you don’t want to have to depend on poorly-made cheap gear for the welfare and safety of your loved ones.

Buying Top Quality Gear for Dirt Cheap Prices

So how can you still get quality, dependable gear without breaking the bank? Well, there is a place where you can buy barely used, and in some cases brand spanking new, quality gear for often more than half off the price you would pay in a store. I’m sure you’ve all heard of it by now: Craigslist.

I know what you’re thinking, “Come on Erich, when I check I rarely find anything good, and when I do it’s usually been already taken.” Well for most people that’s true. But not for me. I’ve been able to purchase top quality sleeping bags, camping hammocks (Hennessy Hammocks), camping stoves, compound bows, radios, a 4-season tent and other gear for more than half off the list price. What’s my secret? It’s setting up Craigslist notifications.

How to Set Up Craigslist Notifications

The benefit of setting up notifications with Craigslist listings is that you can have them sent to your email, IM, or phone. This way you get an instant alert when a specific item you’re looking for becomes available, giving you a much greater chance of getting that long sought after piece of gear.

My favorite tool for getting instant notifications to my phone via sms (text message), my email, and instant messenger is a free utility called Notify.me. It’s very simple to use and best of all it costs nothing. Here’s a demo on how it can be used (substitute his search for Toyota Prius with your needed survival gear :)):

There are many other similar tools (most aren’t free) available online that provide similar services. However, this is the best tool I’ve found available. Happy hunting! And be sure to let me know if you’ve made out on some killer deals as a result of this.