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ISSUE 1 / SUMMER/FALL 2012
DISPLAY UNTIL: 10/23/12
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*WhatEver Your Version of the Apocalypse is.
12 SECURITY “BLANKETS”
Teddy bears, home schooling and a regular routine are
all methods to help children cope with a crisis.
BY KAREN WILHELMSEN AND DR. THOMAS J. NARDI
20 ARMED AND READY
If the world gets crazy, you need to be ready.
And nothing does that better than a firearm.
BY PAUL HANTKE
30 ROCK AND ROLL
What to do before, after the earth shakes violently.
BY ANDREW M. LUTHER
40 SURVIVAL PANTRY
Self-sufficiency in the wake of a disaster includes
growing your own food. BY TORREY KIM
50 ADVENTURE AND ADRENALINE
The whole story behind Les Stroud.
BY KAREN WILHELMSEN
60 MOTHER NATURE’S FEROCITY
Deadly can the weather be, which is why we have
surefire ways to deal with bone-chilling cold and
intense heat. BY TORREY KIM
72 SMOOTH “SAILING”
Six essentials for navigating the wilderness
without a GPS. BY ADAM MORRA
82 ESSENTIAL 10
Post it, memorize it and never forget it …
the emergency preparedness checklist every family
must have. BY GARRETT KIM
89 SAFETY NET
The seven most important wilderness skills you must
have … don’t leave home without them.
BY ABE ELIAS
MAIN IMAGE CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES
DROP-IN: LES STROUD PHOTO BY
DESIGNER: ERIC KNAGG
100 I WILL SURVIVE
In a traumatic incident, your mind can be
the difference between living and dying.
Find out how to make your mind stronger
than steel. BY DR. THOMAS J. NARDI
104 PLAN, PREPARE, SURVIVE
Disasters don’t make appointments. They
can happen at any time, and that’s exactly
why you should have these 20 items in
your emergency car kit. BY ABE ELIAS
106 THE DEPTHS OF HUMANITY
If you think it’s impossible to survive a
traumatic event, think again. Then read
these three amazing stories of individuals
who did. BY KAREN WILHELMSEN
114 FAST FOOD
For any disaster, this pre-stocked food kit
is a must-have.
BY TORREY KIM
118 REALITY TRAINING
In one of Cody Lundin’s survival classes,
you’re going to go through the grinder …
and you’ll be glad you did.
BY KAREN WILHELMSEN
122 BEST PROFESSOR
Survival training is an investment of your
time and money, and effective instruction
will save you both. Here are 15 tips to find
the best one. BY CODY LUNDIN
126 20 GREAT SURVIVAL SCHOOLS
15 35 54
35 LIGHT SOURCES
44 INNOVATIVE PRODUCTS
76 FOOD, WATER
4 FIRST WORDS
6 TIPS, HISTORY, STATS
128 CLOSING WORDS
lthough the room was rocking violently,
I sat up in bed and immediately bolted
for the room my two sons shared.
As I approached the hallway, the force
slammed me into the door jam. The sudden
impact created a flash of bright white light, but
it only stopped me for an instant.
The sound of breaking glass pierced the
massive reverberation created by the earth as it
tried to open up and swallow Los Angeles.
Adrenaline surged through my body, and I thought my heart would burst through my
As I entered the room, I yelled, “Get under the bed.”
Justin threw his feet over the top rail and scrambled under the bed. Although the
room was bouncing, Byron was still asleep. I grabbed him and pulled him under.
As we three lay there, we waited for the apartment building to collapse.
That’s how my day started on Jan. 17, 1994. It was 4:31 in the morning.
I lived with my two sons in Canoga Park, California. At most, we were five miles from
the epicenter of the Northridge Quake.
When the earth finally stood still, I stood and looked out. A fire lit the morning
darkness. Due to the enormity of the situation, my mind was racing. “Would we die?”
“Should I close the refrigerator door so the food stays fresh?” “Glass shattered all over.
How can I get to the kitchen?” “What should we do?”
I asked the kids if they wanted to get outside before the walls came tumbling down.
They were hesitant. At about that moment, an aftershock ripped through the San
Fernando Valley again. And then another.
“This had to be the Big One,” I said, taking a large breath. “That was huge. It had to
be at least an 8.”
And the power was obvious all across the Valley. The quake thrust the nearby Santa
Susanna Mountains upward some four feet. CSUN was hit hard. A multi-tiered parking
structure leaned over like a wall of mud slowly moving to nearby Chatsworth. Freeways
collapsed in the nearby Newhall Pass. People died. The Richter Scale hit 8, but the
official reading was 6.7. Scientists said it didn’t last long enough to be an 8. Their
office couldn’t have been in L.A.
Where are you going to be when disaster hits your city?
And read that again. Three times, if necessary. When. Not if. When.
Have you done everything you can to prepare for what is coming? How will you
provide for your family? What will you eat?
Don’t think it can’t happen to you. Whatever you do. ASG
ISSUE 1 / SUMMER/FALL 2012
Editorial Director: Doug Jeffrey
Editor: Doug Jeffrey
Managing Editor: Teena Artman
Art Director: Ronald Abella
Thomas J. Nardi, Ph.D., Paul Hantke, Andrew M. Luther,
Torrey Kim, Karen Wilhelmsen, Adam Morra, Garrett Kim,
Abe Elias, Cody Lundin
Gabe Frimmel - Ad Sales Director
(714) 200-1930 - GFrimmel@Beckett.com
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AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE © 2012 by Beckett Media,
LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction of any material from
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sibility by Beckett Media, LLC as to the legality, com-
pleteness or technical accuracy.
BY DOUG JEFFREY
Historic California Earthquake
Devastation Serves As a Reminder
Kern County, California
July 21, 1952
This earthquake claimed 12 lives and caused property
damage estimated at $60 million. On the Southern Pacific
Railroad southeast of Bealville, the earthquake cracked
reinforced-concrete tunnels having walls 46 centimeters
thick; it shortened the distance between portals of two
tunnels about 2.5 meters and bent the railroad tracks into
S-shaped curves. —United States Geological Survey
“ … the quake bent the railroad tracks
into S-shaped curves.”
Find Water In the Desert
• Get to a high point and look for a riparian zone (the area of
vegetation that borders a body of water).
• Gather succulents and juice them. Scoop out the flesh and
place a large amount in a rag. Twist them until the juices pour out.
• Use a sheet of plastic to collect dew.
• Insects and game birds are indicators that you are near water.
—Thomas Coyne, chief instructor,
Survival Training School of California
Win a Free
This school backpack has plenty
of room and compartments for stu-
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much more. The iSafe School Back-
pack is equipped with an alarm
system, so you can sound the alarm
if you need immediate assistance. It’s durable, great for
students who walk home alone or for any outdoor trip.
To win it, send us an e-mail. We’ll select a winner at
random. You must be 18 or older. The address is
A High 5
How To Prepare
for a Flood
1 Build an emergency kit and make a
family communication plan.
2 Avoid building in a floodplain unless
you elevate and reinforce your home.
3 Elevate the furnace, water heater and
electric panel in your home if you live in
an area that has a high flood risk.
4 Consider installing "check valves" to
prevent flood water from backing up into
the drains of your home.
5 If feasible, construct barriers to stop
floodwater from entering the building and
seal walls in basements with waterproofing
Photo courtesy of iSafe
(Continued on page 10)
Flood Facts, Driving
• Six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger
cars, causing loss of control and possible stalling.
• A foot of water will float many vehicles.
• Two feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles,
including sport utility vehicles (SUVs) and pick-ups.
• Do not attempt to drive through a flooded road. The depth of
water is not always obvious. The road bed may be washed out
under the water, and you could be stranded or trapped.
• Do not drive around a barricade. Barricades are there for your
protection. Turn around and go the other way.
• Do not try to take shortcuts. They may be blocked. Stick to
designated evacuation routes.
• Be especially cautious driving at night when it is harder to
recognize flood dangers.
“Two feet of rushing water can
carry away most vehicles.”
WHAT CAN WE EXPECT?
Frequency of Earthquake
Occurrence: United States
MAGNITUDE AVERAGE ANNUALLY
8 and higher 1
7 - 7.9 15
6 - 6.9 134
5 - 5.9 1,319
4 - 4.9 13,000
3 - 3.9 130,000 (estimated)
2 - 2.9 1,300,000 (estimated)
Winds from a hurricane can produce winds
exceeding this speed. —FEMA
• The average forward speed of a tornado is 30 mph, but
may vary from stationary to 70 mph.
• Tornadoes can accompany tropical storms and hurricanes
as they move onto land.
• Waterspouts are tornadoes that form over water.
• Tornadoes are most frequently reported east of the Rocky
Mountains during spring and summer months.
• Peak tornado season in the southern states is March
through May; in the northern states, it is late spring
(Continued from page 7)
Seek and Ye Shall Find
Foods in the Wild to Stave Off Hunger
BY GARRETT KIM
“ … 80 percent of the
world's nations include
insects in their diets.”
Get the greatest in survival apps!
Adapted from John “Lofty” Wiseman’s best-selling handbook, “SAS
Survival” is a must-have for you Android, iPhone and iPad techies. Read
text from book, videos of “Lofty” demonstrating survival tips, browse
photos of plants to discover which are edible or poisonous and even use
the Morse code signaling feature for speedy rescue.
Not enough? It also includes quizzes to test your know-how, a check-
list of what you’ll need for the wilderness, a sun compass and will give
you knowledge to become a First Aid, extreme climate know-it-all.
“SAS Survival”: $5.99, or try the Lite version free. Go to
www.sassurvivalguide.com for more information.
Don’t rely on McDonald’s.
The appropriate level of preparation
before a disaster can help ensure that
your survival pantry is well stocked. But
if you’ve put food gathering on the back
burner and you need to locate your own
dinner after a disaster, you’ll benefit
from these expert pointers.
FIND FOOD IN THE CITY
Don’t assume that you’ll starve if you
are in an urban area and not among
“Nuts, fruits, berries and edible
weeds are some of the most tasty and
highly nutritious foods you can find,”
says Robert Richardson of OffGridSur-
IDENTIFY UNIVERSAL PLANTS
Certain edible plants grow across the country. For example,
says Christopher Nyerges, author of “Guide to Wild Foods” and
educator at the School of Self Reliance, you could make a meal
out of lamb’s-quarter, amaranth, chickweed or sow thistle,
Another example is the ever-present dandelion, Richardson
“Throughout history, weeds like the dandelion have been
used for both food and medicinal purposes,” he says. “They are
rich in a number of important vitamins and micronutrients and
can be found throughout urban and wilderness areas of the
United States. The entire plant is edible!”
DON’T FORGET YOUR PROTEIN
Insects are a great source of protein.
“Insect larvae, worms and insects are probably among the
best sources of protein in an urban or wilderness setting,”
Richardson says. “They not only provide a great source of protein,
but they also make an excellent source for a number of essential
vitamins, minerals and fats.”
IF AN INSECT MAKES YOU SQUEAMISH
“As weird as it may sound to Americans, 80 percent of the
world’s nations include insects in their diets,” Richardson adds.
“Pound for pound they provide more protein than most animal
meats and are one of the most environmentally-friendly foods
that you can eat.”
VEGANS TAKE NOTE
Even if your diet is plant-based, you still need to find protein
in the wild, Nyerges says.
“We are talking about roots, but mostly seeds, and combinations
of them,” he advises. “Check out the seed of lamb’s-quarter and/or
amaranth, and even nettle. These are remarkable foods.”
“In general, you must combine the seeds of grasses and legumes
to get proteins,” Nyerges adds. “The grass seed is relatively easy to
come by, but the legumes are not as common.” ASG
Tips for Urban Preparedness
Feb. 9, 1971. 6 a.m.
As the residents of the San Fernando Valley were getting
ready for work and school, a magnitude 6.6 earthquake ripped
through the sprawling Los Angeles suburb. The quake killed 65
people and reportedly caused more than a billion dollars in
Jan. 17, 1994. 4:31 a.m.
A 6.7 temblor rocked the San Fernando Valley to its core as
the residents were sleeping. This time 57 perished, and officials
estimated damage at $20 billion.
When will the big one hit Southern California? No one knows.
And that’s exactly why preparedness is critical.
In the following pages, you will get tips on how to survive
when the infrastructure is obliterated and self-reliance means
the difference between living and dying.
The American Survival Guide. Because fury happens. ASG
From the Comfort of a Teddy Bear to Home Schooling
BY KAREN WILHELMSEN
hen Hurricane Katrina hit, 80 percent of New Orleans
went under water—a city home to more than 400,000
people at the time.
Swarms of displaced residents sought refuge in the Superdome
and later FEMA trailers where some residents lived for years.
This natural disaster was one of the worst in history.
Displacement, even temporary, causes stress for an entire
family, but it hits children the hardest. Following are signs of
stress and methods to cope, including getting back into the
routine of school.
SIGNS OF STRESS
Signs of stress come in various forms.
For younger kids, crying, an upset stomach, bed-wetting,
thumb sucking and mood fluctuations are common indicators.
For the middle-school aged children, the same anxiety can
occur, along with other symptoms like irritability, anger, overeating
or loss of appetite, vomiting, nausea, headaches, nightmares, nail
biting and avoidance of the problem by distancing themselves.
For teens, they’ll be susceptible to seek comfort in drugs and
alcohol to cope with pain.
(Source: NYU Child Study Center’s “Caring for Kids After
Trauma, Disaster and Death”)
SOLUTIONS TO STRESS
Stress during a crisis is inevitable, but there are a number of
ways to alleviate it.
Talk to your children. Ask questions and provide answers,
because the child does not know what’s going on. Assure young
kids that it’s OK to cry and find out what their fears are.
PSYCHOLOGY OF A DISASTER
The Crisis of Change, the Comfort of Control
By Thomas J. Nardi, Ph.D.
People are driven to seek pleasure and avoid pain.
So say the psychologists who follow the theories of Freud.
In contrast to the Freudians are the Behaviorists. They believe that people act according to
rewards and punishments. If a behavior is rewarded, it tends to be repeated; if punished or not
rewarded, it usually is not repeated.
While appreciating the merit of these two theories, my experience as a psychologist suggests
another perspective on what motivates us. Yes, we do seek pleasure (or rewards) and avoid pain
(or punishment), but there is perhaps another, even stronger, motive behind our actions.
Perhaps what really motivates us the most is the desire for the security provided by the
The father of American psychology, William James, wrote that “Habit is the great flywheel
of society.” James believed that habit—the familiar routine of our daily lives—is what holds
society together and keeps us going.
There is a certain comfort in the familiar. It provides a sense of security, control, comfort
and safety. The “sameness” of our day minimizes the disruptions that can tax our ability to
cope. The familiar routine helps us achieve and maintain a certain homeostasis or balance both
physically and emotionally, within ourselves.
We do not want “surprises” that throw us off. Change challenges us. Change—even positive
change—produces stress. Our bodies and minds are called to adapt to a new situation. The
greater the change, the more of a challenge to regain our homeostatic balance. Major changes
produce what I term a “crisis of change.”
Calamities, whether natural or manmade, change our lives. The expression “everything
changed after 9/11” illustrates the long lasting effect of one devastating crisis.
GET BACK TO NORMAL
One of the best ways of regaining your homeostatic equilibrium after a crisis is to return to
your normal routine as soon as possible. Even if circumstances prevent a full return, the closer
to the familiar you can get, the better.
The structure provided by the return to the familiar routine will facilitate recovery from the
crisis. Quite simply, the more control you can establish over your external situation by returning
to your normal routine, the more in control you will feel. And, the more in-control you feel, the
faster and better you will recover, survive and overcome the crisis.
The Writer: Thomas J. Nardi practices psychology in New York.
“The structure provided by the return
to the familiar routine will facilitate
recovery from the crisis.”
—Thomas J. Nardi, psychologist
Avoid news coverage on TV, as the media replays violent and
horrific incidences nonstop, which can be scarring.
Use positive thinking and remain in control—you’re the adult.
What’s worse than going through a survival situation? Roughing
it alone. So stay positive if your family is safe and together.
It’s also important to get back into a routine as quickly as
During times of crisis, it’s healthy to remain as close to a
normal routine as you can … and that includes schooling.
Regardless of where you’re living, you should have materials
on-hand to home school your children. That way, they’ll be mentally
prepared to return to school and won’t fall too far behind.
A KEY TO COMFORT
It’s amazing how a smell or
favorite item can bring you back to
memories of a better time.
Utilize the fact that kids have a
favorite toy or comfort blanket that
keeps them at ease. When packing
an emergency kit, be sure to include
at least one item per child for their
psychological comfort. The items
• A teddy bear
• Coloring book
• Favorite blanket since birth
• Family photos
“During times of crisis, it’s healthy
to remain as close to a normal
routine as you can … and that
SIGNS OF STRESS
• An upset stomach
• Mood fluctuations
• The same anxiety as the
• Overeating or loss of appetite
• Vomiting, nausea, headaches
• Drug and alcohol abuse
(Source: NYU Child Study Center’s
“Caring for Kids After Trauma, Disas-
ter and Death”)
TIPS FOR HOME SCHOOLING
If you have access to a computer, the following sites can provide
a temporary curriculum for your child to continue learning online:
• For preschool to elementary kids, download the FEMA coloring
book, activity book, and lessons and activities at the FEMA Web site
(www.ready.gov/kids); this site also has countless resources for you
and your family on coping, planning for risks and building a kit for
• Visit www.time4learning.com for home schooling materials online
• Or purchase books at www.homeschoolingbooks.com
You can use the textbooks or reading materials that the
children already have and pick up where they left off at school,
or pack workbooks and reading materials for their appropriate
If you’re home schooling for extended periods of time, be sure
you know your state’s home schooling laws.
IT’S ONLY TEMPORARY
A natural disaster isn’t forever, so rest assured that your life
will go back to normal.
And make it as normal as you can as fast as you can … from
personal items of comfort to schooling for your child. ASG
Are In Store Here
n the event of a natural disaster, having
a backup portable generator can
mean the difference between night and
day—and we mean either having light or
staying left in the dark.
These generators offer a wide selection
in watts, sizes and capabilities for any
survivalist’s needs. So the next time you
experience an earthquake, tornado or
hurricane that knocks out power lines on
your block, don’t sweat it. You’ll be covered.
(Continued on page 18)
PRODUCT COREPOWER SERIES
MSRP $1,995 AND UP
The 7-kilowatt CorePower Series is ideal if you only
need to protect your essenti al ci rcui ts and want a
portable, affordable option for standby power
Starts automatically when the power goes off, if
you’re home or not
Provides immediate backup power and runs on LP or
natural gas fuel
ALL POWER AMERICA
PRODUCT 1,200W GENERATOR, 2 STROKE
MSRP $134.99 AND UP
Lightweight and compact, 44 pounds
Runs lights, coffee makers, small tools at campsites
Attached rubber feet reduce vibrations, circuit breaker
protects generator from overload
Air-cooled 2 stroke engine
and 1.2 gallon tank capacity;
runs 8.5 hours at half load
on 1.2 gallons of fuel;
delivers 1,200 watts
surge or 800 watts
ALL POWER AMERICA
PRODUCT APG3560 6,000W GENERATOR
MSRP $736 AND UP
Propane powered, 6,000 surge watts; 5,000 running watts
13 HP OHV engine with electric start
Two 120V outlets and one 120V twist locking outlet
20 pounds, providing 8 hours of runtime on half a load
(Continued from page 16)
ALL POWER AMERICA
PRODUCT APGG10000 10,000W GENERATOR
MSRP $899 AND UP
Electric/recoil start with a battery (maintenance-free battery
420ccOHV air-cooled engine; 10,000W surge and 8,000W
rated; horsepower 15 HP
Has a fuel capac-
ity of 8 gallons (takes
and a protective cir-
PRODUCT SPORTSMAN GEN7000LP
MSRP $785 AND UP
13 HP 4 stroke OHV engine, 7,000 surge watts/6,000 running
Electric and recoil start
Automatic low-oil shutdown and voltage regulator
3,600 RPM, EPA approved and last longer than traditional
is 8 hours at 50
percent load per
20 pounds of LP
PRODUCT 1200W GENERATOR
MSRP VARIES PER RETAILER
1,200 running watts/1,500 starting watts
Comes with a 2-year limited warranty
Uses intelligauge (for volts, frequency and operation hours)
Has a runtime of 10 hours at the 50 percent load
PRODUCT 6500W REMOTE START GENERATOR
MSRP VARIES PER RETAILER
6,500 running watts/8,250 starting watts
Comes with a wireless remote starter and a 2-year limited
2, 10-inch never-flat wheels
Has a runtime of 8 hours at the 50 percent load
PRODUCT SUBARU ROBIN RG3200IS INVERTER GENERATOR
Control panel that’s user friendly
3,200 watts of power, with a multi-monitor display that shows
voltage, hours or operation and if it’s overloaded (for prevention)
Engine automatically shuts off if low oil level is detected
Adjusts engine speeds to meet power requirements ASG
PRODUCT GP SERIES PORTABLE
A favorite for home use, emergency power, or power for
camping, job sites and outdoor events
Uses Gener ac’ s OHV
engines with cast-iron cylin-
der sleeves and low-oil shut-
Comes with a large steel
tank, has easy-to-read fuel
gauges for extended runtimes
and covered outlets—all pro-
tected by a steel tube cradle
PRODUCT XG SERIES PORTABLE
MSRP $1.025 AND UP
Ideal for home or work use because of its great quality,
power and reliability.
Powered by the OHVI engine, the XG Series features an illu-
minated control panel and
Power Bar t o di spl ay t he
Steel tube cradl e, ful l -
wr ap f r ame t ubi ng and
impact resistant corners
Covered outlets provide
some extra protection
PRODUCT 22KW PTO GENERATOR
22,000-watt continuous output, 90-amp output at 240V
Power Meter Pro installed on the back of
Small unit that’s powerful enough
to supply energy to your home in
need; high-quality PTO generator
with heavy-duty single-phase and
brushless design for maintenance-
Aluminum- and steel-built for dura-
PRODUCT 20KW HOME STANDBY GENERATOR
Protects your home during extended power outages; automatic,
Standby generator for residential use
60 Hz frequency, rated wattage: 20,000 watt
Warranty: 5 years/2,000 hours
Armed and Ready
STORY AND PHOTOS
BY PAUL HANTKE
The Complete Guide to Buying a Used Handgun
IF the world gets crazy, you gotta be ready.
And that’s exactly why your list of must-have items should include a handgun.
At first, it may seem like a monumental task, especially if the closest you’ve been to a
gun is a 3D showing of the latest action movie at your local theater. But it’s cool, because,
as you’re about to find out, buying a used handgun is a lot like buying a car.
You simply need to define your needs, the job for which it is intended (self-defense),
determine your budget and then investigate the market. Once you have narrowed
down the field, it is time to “kick some tires.”
First impressions are important.
You’ll see NIB (new in box) guns with all their original packaging down to those that
the owner keeps wrapped up in an oily rag—or worse. For those guns that are not boxed,
there are some simple first steps to take in your evaluation.
• First, confirm that the firearm is unloaded before your initial
inspection. Then, go down this checklist:
• What is the general condition of the gun?
• Is it clean overall?
• Is the bore bright and shiny with crisp edges to the rifling
and no damage to the crown at the muzzle?
• Are there any scratches, dents, dings or other evidence of
mistreatment or accidents?
• How is the finish? Rust or corrosion is obviously a problem,
although if the gun is sound you can always refinish it if it is
financially feasible. However, that typically destroys any collector
value that may have existed.
Be aware that many guns will show a lot of holster wear to
certain spots on the firearm but still be mechanically tight. You
can either touch those spots up or let the old gun wear them
It really is that simple for starters. From there you can do
some basic ergonomics and mechanical checking. I’ll cover
specifics for both revolvers and pistols in a moment, but first let’s
look at the basics.
Having confirmed that the gun is completely unloaded, start
by seeing if it fits you.
The coolest gun in the world is no good if it doesn’t fit your
hand and point naturally for you. You should be able to focus on
a “target” across the room, close your eyes and raise the gun.
When you open your eyes, it should be pretty well aligned with
that spot. If not, you may be able to correct that with different
stocks (grips), or maybe you should just find a different gun.
Continue by checking its basic action. Check to make sure that
the safeties work as designed, and that the cylinder, slide or
magazine latches work properly.
Ask if you may dry fire the handgun to check the trigger,
and ask if you can test fire it.
Besides trying the gun, looking at fired brass can tell you a
lot. Off-center primer strikes are not good, backed-out primers
are not good, and cases from a semi-auto with smudged primer
impacts or obvious rim damage from an extractor are not good.
Most often, there will not be a chance to actually shoot the
gun, so be warned you will probably be buying “a pig in a poke”
and hoping for the best.
That circular thing with the holes in it is the cylinder, and it
needs to spin freely and squarely to produce reliability and con-
sistent accuracy from chamber to chamber.
You may find that the cylinder is marked with a line around
the bolt-stops, which are the cut-outs at the rear of the cylin-
der. This indicates that there is a weak spring or a timing
BEFORE YOU BUY
• Define your needs
• Determine your budget
• Investigate the market
• Once you have narrowed down the field, it is time to “kick some tires.”
THE INITIAL INSPECTION
• What is the gun’s general condition?
• Is it clean overall?
• Is the bore bright and shiny with crisp edges to the rifling and no
damage to the crown at the muzzle?
• Are there any scratches, dents, dings, or other evidence of
mistreatment or accidents?
• How is the finish?
The two basic revolver designs are represented here by the Ruger single
action (top), and the Smith & Wesson double-action (trigger-cocking).
An easy way to check a single action cylinder pin is roll it on a hard, flat
surface, as you would do with a pool cue stick.
Magazines should insert easily, lock in securely and drop free
There are so many different trigger designs on pistols today
that it is hard to talk about them without starting your own book.
In any case, you’ll have traditional single-action, double-action
(trigger cocking) first round with a transition to single-action,
double-action only or what Glock calls a “safe action” with an
activator on the trigger and a pre-loaded striker.
problem because the locking bolt has been dragging on the
The cylinder should not wobble sideways. It also should not
move forward and/or backward when in battery, or you have a
condition called “end shake.”
Rotate the cylinder and watch to see if the gap between the
barrel extension through the frame and the front of the cylinder
changes as it rotates. It should be minimal and consistent.
The ejector rod on swing-out cylinders can be checked for
trueness by holding it upright and against a plain background
while rotating it. Single action guns with removable cylinder pins
can be inspected much like a pool cue stick—just roll it on a hard,
Finally, check the inside of the top strap of the frame just
above the barrel extension to make sure there is not significant
flame-cutting and that the forcing cone (end of the barrel that
receives the bullet from the cylinder) does not appear to be
eroded. A little bit is to be expected with an older gun, but a
well-defined torch line, especially on a newer gun, tells you that
it was fired with a lot of hot rounds.
The semi-auto is a bit more complicated than the revolver, but
there are a few basic tests that will give you some idea about the
Slide-to-frame fit should be snug but smooth in operation and
have no slop when in battery.
The barrel should also lock up tightly at both ends, and you
can test this by pushing on its locking points—the chamber and
A double-action cylinder pin/ejector rod can be
checked by holding it up with a good contrasting
surface behind it and then rotating it.
The barrel-to-cylinder gap is where the portion
of the barrel that extends through the frame
almost meets the cylinder. Hold the gun up,
look through the gap and slowly cycle the
action. The space should remain consistent,
and anything that looks off square should be
Check the top strap just above the barrel to cylinder
gap for “flame cutting” and inspect the forcing
cone of the barrel for erosion, which indicates the
revolver has been fed a lot of hot ammo.
“The coolest gun in the world
is no good if it doesn’t fit
your hand and point
naturally for you.”
From the top: a Beretta 92 with a double-action/single-action trigger, a
1911 Colt with a straight single-action trigger and a Glock with a safe-
This is really part of you
doing your homework before
going shopping. You need to
know what you are looking
for, because each design has
different features, and some
require more training and
“trigger time” before I would
recommend them to novice
Another area of concern
should be the feed ramp area
of the pistol, as feeding mal-
functions could have scarred
this over time, especially with
an alloy frame or polymer pistol.
If you can field-strip the pistol, it should be easy to see any
unusual wear patterns or obvious problems. Unlike the revolver, a
change of sights is common on a pistol, so see if the sights are
set in dovetails (and what are the dovetail specs?), as that will
determine part of your overall cost.
If the front sight is pinned, it must be drilled out from
underneath for a change, and if the rear sight is not in a standard
dovetail, the slide will have to be machined and then refinished
(unless it is stainless steel).
Today, many modern pistols allow for a change of stocks,
and some of the newer models even have interchangeable back
strap inserts with specific profiles for the grip to change the feel,
balance, and natural pointing angle of the handgun for shooters
of all dimensions.
You never know when the world may get tossed upside
down, so it’s better to have a firearm that can provide the self-
defense you need … just in case you need it. ASG
Paul Hantke, the former editor of ASG, has written about
firearms for close to three decades.
The barrel needs to lock up tightly at both ends, which is easy enough to
check by pushing down on the chamber through the ejection port. The
muzzle should also be tight in the frame.
• Distance shooting
• One-handed shooting
• Speed reloads
• Double taps
• Multiple targets
• Low-light shooting
WILL TEACH YOU 8
KEY TIPS TO
THE LIMITATIONS OF
To protect your homestead, try these things in addition to having your
• Know the quickest way into/out of your home
• Consider a fence, wall or shrubs to prohibit unwanted home entry
• Use thorned bushes, cacti or palm fronds to create a natural barrier
• Invest in a gate with a sturdy deadbolt
• Get motion-activated lights
• Use protective animals like dogs; where possible, use livestock
• Install an alarm
Good training will teach you the parameters within which you can use
deadly force in self-defense.
The instructors of a shooting school should be available to explain
to the court why you were taught what you were taught and why
actions such as what you did should be considered reasonable under
Very bright light can make some laser beams hard to spot on a target.
Lasers that are not in direct line with the bore of the weapon are
designed so the nominal midline of the bore and the laser beam will
coincide at a certain distance. Beyond—or short of that distance—the
laser beam and the midline of the bore will not be completely synchro-
nized on the target. –Jerry Ahern
Another thing to check at the chamber
end of the barrel is the feed ramp.
These vary from this one from
Beretta, to the original 1911 style
with a bit of a bevel to the surfaces,
to “ramped” (or reinforced) units.
Firearms for Self-Defense
They are the ultimate form of protection.
And one thing is most definitely clear: They’re effective
in getting the job done should you have to protect your
So be prepared.
OPERATION: DA/SA Revolver; DAO optional
CALIBERS: .38/.357, .357/9 mm combo, .40 S&W
CAPACITY: 6 rounds
BARREL LENGTHS: 2, 4, 5 and 6 inches
SIGHTS: Fixed (2-inch model), other models micro adjustable
GRIPS: Rubber, walnut, olive wood, laminate and neoprene
FINISHES: Black anodized/black steel finish, hard chrome option (White Rhino)
WEIGHT: 25, 30, 31.6, 33 ounces, respectively
OVERALL LENGTH: 6.5, 8.5, 9.5, 10.5 inches, respectively
LONE WOLF DISTRIBUTING
OPERATION: Safe Action
CALIBERS: 9 mm, .40 S&W, .357 SIG
CAPACITY: 17+1 (9 mm), 15+1 (.40 & .357) rounds
BARREL LENGTH: 5.85 inches
SIGHTS: Burris FastFire II micro red dot
GRIP: Interchangeable backstops (swelled and flat included)
FINISH: Stainless steel slide, polymer frame
WEIGHT: 25.3 ounces
OVERALL LENGTH: 9.125 inches
MSRP $525; $575 (XS SIGHTS); $792 (LASERGRIPS)
CALIBERS: .38 Spl+P; .357 Magnum
CAPACITY: 5 rounds
BARREL LENGTH: 2 inches
SIGHTS: Fixed, XS Standard Dot tritium, CT LaserGrip
GRIP: Hogue Tamer, CT LaserGrip
FINISH: Matte black, Target Grey cylinder
WEIGHT: 13 (with CT LaserGrip); 13.5 (with Hogue Tamer);
17.1 ounces (with .357 Mag)
OVERALL LENGTH: 6.5 inches
CALIBERS: 9 mm, .357 SIG, .40 S&W, .45 ACP
MAGAZINE CAPACITY/TYPE: (9 mm) 17 rounds, (.357
SIG,.40 S&W) 14 Rounds, (.45 ACP) 10 rounds
BARREL LENGTH: 4.7 inches
RATE OF TWIST: 1:16
SIGHTS: Siglite Night sights
RAILS: 1913 Accessory Rail
GRIP: Black polymer
FINISH: Black Nitron stainless slide
WEIGHT, EMPTY: 29.4 ounces
OVERALL LENGTH: 8.0 inches
PRODUCT P239 SAS GEN 2
CALIBERS: 9 mm, .40 S&W, .357 SIG
CAPACITY: 8 rounds (9 mm) 7 rounds (.40 S&W, .357 SIG)
BARREL LENGTH: 3.5 inches
SIGHTS: SIGLITE night sights
GRIP: Black polymer
FINISH: Satin stainless slide, black hard-anodized frame
WEIGHT: 29.5 ounces
OVERALL LENGTH: 6.5 inches
SMITH & WESSON
PRODUCT SMITH & WESSON 642 CT
OPERATION: DAO revolver
CALIBER: .38 S&W Special +P
CAPACITY: 5 rounds
BARREL LENGTH: 1.875 inches
SIGHTS: Fixed rear, integral front and CT Lasergrips
GRIP: Synthetic rubber
FINISH: Matte silver
WEIGHT: 15.3 ounces
OVERALL LENGTH: 6.32 inches
SMITH & WESSON
OPERATION: Striker Fire Action
CALIBER: .357 Auto
MAGAZINE CAPACITY/TYPE: 15
BARREL LENGTH: 4.25 inches
SIGHTS: Front: White Dot Dovetail, Rear: steel low profile carry
GRIP: 3 interchangeable Palmswell grip sizes
FINISH: Black Melonite, 68 HRc
WEIGHT, EMPTY: 25.5 ounces
OVERALL LENGTH: 7.63 inches
PRODUCT 85 ULTRA LITE
CALIBER: .38 Special + P
MAGAZINE CAPACITY/TYPE: 5 Shot
BARREL LENGTH: 2 inches
FINISH: Matte stainless
WEIGHT, EMPTY: 17 ounces
OVERALL LENGTH: 6.5 inches
EUROPEAN AMERICAN ARMORY CORP.
PRODUCT SAR SPECIAL PURPOSE SHOTGUN
MAGAZINE CAPACITY/TYPE: 5 rounds, tube
BARREL LENGTH: 18.5 inches
STOCK: Synthetic pistol grip
WEIGHT, EMPTY: 5.75 pounds
OVERALL LENGTH: 39 inches
O.F. MOSSBERG & SONS, INC.
PRODUCT BLACKWATER 500 CRUISER
MAGAZINE CAPACITY/TYPE: 6 rounds, tube
BARREL LENGTH: 18.5 inches
STOCK: Synthetic, pistol grip
WEIGHT, EMPTY: 5.75 pounds
OVERALL LENGTH: 31 inches
KEL-TEC CNC INDUSTRIES, INC.
MAGAZINE CAPACITY/TYPE: 14 rounds, tubes
BARREL LENGTH: 26 inches
STOCK: Glass-reinforced nylon pistol grip
WEIGHT: 6.9 pounds
OVERALL LENGTH: 26.1 inches
PRODUCT PROFESSIONAL MODEL
MAGAZINE CAPACITY: 5 rounds, tube
BARREL LENGTH: 14 inches
SIGHTS: Aperture, blade
STOCK: Synthetic with tactical forend
WEIGHT, EMPTY: 8.4 pounds
OVERALL LENGTH: 34.4 inches
Rock and Roll
ANDREW M. LUTHER
What To Do Before, After the
Earth Shakes Violently
very year, more than 100 earthquakes of 6.0 or greater
Because they strike with no warning, earthquakes must surely
be among nature’s most terrifying and dangerous phenomenons.
As with all disasters, a little preparation can go a long way in
mitigating the effects of these extremely dangerous disasters.
BEFORE THE QUAKE
Important steps must be taken long before an earthquake occurs.
• Inspect your home and identify hazards such as tall book-
cases or heavy pieces of furniture that could fall over. Anchor
them to the wall using flexible straps or hooks.
• Make sure heavy objects are securely anchored to the wall
and not placed on high shelves or near a bed where they could
fall and injure someone.
• Pack a kit with enough supplies to survive outside the house
for at least three days and ensure that it is both accessible and
known to everyone in your household.
• Officials also recommend that you create a family plan for
escaping and meeting after an emergency.
DURING THE QUAKE
In spite of what many people have been told, the doorways in
the vast majority of modern buildings are no stronger than the
rest of the structure. So, when an earthquake strikes, the safest
thing to do is take cover under a sturdy piece of furniture and
“Because they strike with no warning,
earthquakes must surely be among
nature’s most terrifying and
“Unless a trained
professional or in the
case of a severed limb,
use of a tourniquet by an
amateur can very quickly
lead to the death of
a limb and
THE EMERGENCY PLAN
• No matter what the disaster is,
developing a communications plan for
you and your family is key.
• Agree on a location (and an
alternative location) to meet in case
you are apart when a disaster strikes.
• Select a family or friend far away
with whom everyone can check in,
should they get the chance to use a
phone or e-mail.
ONE OF AN EARTHQUAKE’S
GREATEST DANGERS …
AND HOW TO OVERCOME IT
One of the greatest dangers after an
earthquake may come from where you
least expect it—the water.
Ruptured pipes, leaking sewage and
insufficient water treatment can produce
a water supply that can lead to sickness
or death from a variety of diseases.
Vigorously boiling water for 10 minutes,
or using a professional water filter, can
go a long way to preventing illness or
even death. You should also have a supply
of bottled water on hand.
The effects of dehydration can be just
as deadly. Humans can go days, or even
weeks, without food, but death from
dehydration can occur in days or even
hours, depending on conditions.
cover your head with a soft object or
As soon as the earthquake is over,
immediately leave the building—and
do not return inside. Even if a building
looks to be secure, invisible structural
damage or gas leaks could cause damage
long after the earthquake has ended.
BEYOND THE WEST
Contrary to popular belief, earthquakes are not
restricted to the West.
On Aug. 23, 2011, the strongest earthquake east of the
Rocky Mountains in more than 100 years struck near
Washington, D.C. Felt in more than a dozen states and
causing hundreds of millions in damage, the quake serves
as a reminder that earthquakes can occur anywhere.
FIRST AID MYTHS
THE PROPER WAY TO HANDLE THE EMERGENCY
By Andrew M. Luther
Knowing what not to do in an emergency can be almost as important as knowing what to
do. Here are a few common myths of First Aid dispelled:
MYTH: To stop profuse bleeding, apply a tourniquet to the wound.
SOLUTION: Unless a trained professional or in the case of a severed limb, use of a tourniquet
by an amateur can very quickly lead to the death of a limb and its amputation.
Instead, apply heavy pressure to the wound with a towel, bandage or other piece of cloth.
Do not give over-the-counter painkillers such as aspirin because that may increase blood loss.
Immediately get to a medical professional.
MYTH: Remove a knife or other foreign object from a victim.
SOLUTION: Removing a foreign object from the body, such as a knife or arrow, is never a
good idea. Indeed, removing it will usually do
more harm than good, as the object not only
may be preventing further blood loss, but may
cause even more severe damage on the way
Instead, attempt to keep the object stable
and immediately go to the emergency room.
MYTH: If someone faints or feels like he may
faint, have him put his head between his knees.
SOLUTION: This will likely only lead the person
to fall forward. The proper way to handle the
situation is to have him lie down with his legs
elevated to increase blood flow to the brain.
(Sources: American Heart Association, FEMA,
U.S. Army Survival Guide)
FIRST AID SKILLS
• Simple courses lasting just an
afternoon can be found at local hospitals
and American Red Cross centers.
• If you have more time available,
courses such as Certified Emergency
Medical Technician, Wilderness First
Responder or Certified First Responder
can usually be found at a local community
college or university.
These courses offer in-depth training
and often end in career-building certifi-
cates and licenses, as well.
Sandstorm - Pink
Basket Weave - Black/OD
Wasp Nest - Red/Black
Honeycomb - Orange
Honeycomb - Black
Pyramid - Blue/Black
Diamond Eyes- Olive Drab
1/16” Contour 1/8” Contour
Available with 1/16” or 1/8” contours.
Each scale is 1/4” x 1 1/2” x 5” for
a set of two. Single colors are only
$22.95 for, black, orange, pink and
olive drab. Dual colors are only
$24.95 which include your choice of
red/black, blue/black and black/olive
drab. State the color, texture and
contour desired when ordering.
Order online and see our complete line
of products or download our
114 page Full Color Catalog at
84 DIFFERENT COLOR & TEXTURE
POSSIBILITIES. Each texture listed is
available in the seven colors shown.
WHEN THE HEART ATTACKS
Earthquakes can be terrifying and
could possibly trigger a heart attack.
Sudden cardiac arrest (often called a
“heart attack”) remains the leading
cause of death in the United States. From
recommendations on how to perform
cardio pulmonary resuscitation, to new
technologies, here are some of the
• On March 31, 2008, the American
Heart Association updated its suggested
method in the case of cardiac arrest.
Completely removing rescue breathing,
the AHA now recommends performing
ONLY chest compressions. Research
conducted by the AHA has suggested
this may double the effectiveness of CPR.
• With a doctor’s prescription, you
too can have the single most effective
lifesaver in the case of cardiac arrest:
the Automatic External Defibrillator (AED).
According to the American Heart
Association, for every minute after the
onset of cardiac arrest, survival falls by 10
percent. While the national survival rate
from sudden cardiac arrest is less than 10
percent, when an AED is used within the
first five minutes, this rises to 74 percent.
Modern AED’s are small, compact and very
easy to use. One activated, through vocal
commands or prompts, the machines aid
the rescuer in the set up process. Once
the electrodes are placed on the victim,
the machine automatically analyzes data
such as breathing, heart rate and blood
pressure to determine how and when it
should deliver the charge.
• CPR alone will not restart a heart. CPR
is intended only to continue the circulation
of blood to the brain until a defibrillator
can be used.
“CPR alone will not restart a heart.
CPR is intended only to continue
the circulation of blood to the brain
until a defibrillator can be used.”
WHAT YOUR FIRST AID KIT MUST INCLUDE
In a medical emergency, a properly packed First Aid kit can mean the difference between
life and death.
While the most important tool to have with you in a disaster is proper training, the International
Red Cross recommends that all First Aid kits have the following items. Of course, additional
preparations should be made depending on you and your family’s individual circumstances.
Even more dangerous, aftershocks—as
strong or even stronger—can continue to
occur days or even weeks after the initial
earthquake. Remain outdoors and away
from tall buildings or other objects until a
professional has ensured it is safe to
AFTER THE QUAKE
The aftermath of an earthquake can
be as deadly as the initial jolt.
Aftershocks can continue to cause
damage, devastating structures already
damaged by the initial quake. In some
cases, electricity and communications
networks will be disrupted, overwhelmed
or even destroyed. Make sure you have
a generator, matches, flashlights and
Roads and highways are likely to be
damaged or even impassable from
damage and debris, impeding the ability
of police, fire department or medical
services to provide help.
If your home is destroyed, head to the
closest shelter. ASG
Andrew Luther is a freelance writer
based in North Carolina.
• 2 absorbent compress dressings
(5 x 9 inches)
• 25 adhesive bandages (assorted sizes)
• 1 adhesive cloth tape (10 yards x 1 inch)
• 5 antibiotic ointment packets
(approximately 1 gram)
• 5 antiseptic wipe packets
• 2 packets of aspirin (81 mg each)
• 1 blanket (space blanket)
• 1 breathing barrier (with one-way valve)
• 1 instant cold compress
• 2 pair of non-latex gloves (size: large)
• 2 hydrocortisone ointment packets
(approximately 1 gram each)
• 1 roller bandage (3 inches wide)
• 1 roller bandage (4 inches wide)
• 5 sterile gauze pads (3 x 3 inches)
• 5 sterile gauze pads (4 x 4 inches)
• Oral thermometer (non-mercury/
• 2 triangular bandages
• First Aid instruction booklet
For safe drinking
water, boil it for 10
Let There Be Light
From Fire Starters to Flashlights to Lanterns,
These Hot Items Will Light a Spark
quake has rocked your city’s
foundation to the core. Buildings
have collapsed, infrastructure is in disarray
and there is no power.
And that’s why you have got to be ready.
To help you prepare, we have selected the
best in flashlights, lanterns and matches. Get
these hot new items today, so you won’t be
left in the dark tomorrow.
PRODUCT D.LIGHT S10 SOLAR LANTERN
A great, “green” alternative to a typical flashlight or latern is
the d.light Solar Latern, which offers about eight hours of bright
Can be charged by the solar panel (even on rainy or cloudy
days) or through electric charging
Can withstand tough conditions, harsh weather, accidental
drops and intense heat
A product that’s helping provide light to families without reliable
PRODUCT SOFT LIGHT CANDLES
MSRP VARIES PER RETAILER/SIZE
Candl e Lamp’ s l i ne of Sof t
Light oil-based candles can burn
and burn and burn—anywhere
from eight hours to a whopping
115 hours depending on the size.
They don’t drip messy wax all
over the place like traditional can-
dles, and they’re disposable.
Made from refined clear liquid
paraffin, they’re non-hazardous
and the fuel cel l s can even be
This tin has tinder that lights quickly, burns hot and is wind
and moisture tolerant.
Takes the hassle out of searching for firewood outdoors
Made from domestic organic materials with reusable tin
(Continued on page 38)
(Continued from page 36)
PRODUCT POLYSTRIKER XL
Burns at nearly 5,500 degrees
The ferrocerium rod works even
when wet, it’s ultra lightweight and
durable, and is a tungsten carbide
Comes with lanyard and instruc-
tions so you’ll never be without fire
when you need it most
LIGHT MY FIRE
PRODUCT SWEDISH FIRESTEEL 2.0 SCOUT
MSRP $12.99 AND UP
Light My Fire lives up to its name. This
fire starter is the perfect tool to light a
campfire, stove or barbecue.
It works just as well when wet and at
all altitudes, capable of producing 3,000
strikes, each at 5,400°F.
The fire or sparks are a great way to
signal for help in an emergency.
The striker handle even includes an
Available in over seven fun colors
NETWORK CORP (ATN)
PRODUCT ATN JAVELIN J600
This tactical flashlight
reckoned with. Equipped
multi-edged bezel, this one c
be used as a weapon for your p
Even bet t er , i t s out put i s 6
lumens, it’s made of aircraft-grade 60
aluminum, has an LED lamp, weighs a m ounces and is
7.9 inches long.
Controls on the tailcap provide either momentary or con-
stant illumination. This flashlight might just be your ticket to
PRODUCT STORMPROOF MATCH KIT
Have you ever seen matches
l i ke t hese? The UCO St orm-
proof Match Kit comes with 25
matches (can hol d up to 40)
and three strikers, so you can
get a fi re goi ng even i f your
pack got soaked in the rain.
The case i s ri bbed so i t’s
easier to grip and features an integrated striker for easier lighting.
These bad-boys stay lit for as long as 15 seconds—even if
they’ve been fully submerged in water.
PRODUCT ON POINT FLASHLIGHT, AA
Contains an LED rated for 50,000 hours that
never needs to be replaced
I t comes wi th a cl i p to easi l y attach to a
pocket, belt or other strap
The high setting is 105 lumens, or it has a 20-
hour runtime on low.
We recommend this one because it has a fast-
strobe setting for personal rescue signaling. In addition, it fea-
tures a rugged aluminum base with an “unbreakable” lens,
has been drop-tested and is water-resistant.
PRODUCT HD TORCH
Made of ai rcraf t -grade
wat er pr oof al umi num, t h
bad-boy produces 200 lumen
light—and has runtime of 90
Handheld and part of the B
Length 9.2 inches, weight of 9.8 ounces
PRODUCT P2X FURY (DUAL-OUTPUT LED)
WEBSITE WWW.SUREFIRE COM
If you’re going to splurge
a tactical flashlight, we’d li
to introduce to you SureFire
Fury. It has two settings: low
lumens, with a 46 hour runtim
high (500 lumens, with a 1.5 hour runtime).
It’s super small (5.4 inches long and weighs 5.7 ounces) but
oh so mighty.
Make Fury your very own pocket-sized searchlight. With an
aerospace aluminum body and a secure grip, it’s hard anodized
to military specifications for extreme resistance to scratches,
abrasion and corrosion.
PRODUCT WARRIOR 230 IR LED
This lantern comes with a remote
control that can be operated 25 feet
away and features it’s own LED for navi-
gating around a campsite at night.
Will last two days of off non-stop use
on high mode
Manual or infrared remote operation
provi des bri ght whi t e area l i ght i ng
which becomes brighter when diffuser
globe is removed
SOS flash mode and IR standby mode
PRODUCT GORILLATORCH SWITCHBACK
The GorillaTorch Switch-
back i s an easy-t o-use
headlamp/lantern that uses
a bright, five-LED light dis-
play (up to 130 lumens).
Bendable legs can attach
to a tree, pole or stand on
It features a 92 percent ultra-efficient holographic lens, has
red or white LEDS for night vision or flood lighting, includes six
different brightness settings, has a battery life of 72 hours
PRODUCT BEAR GRYLLS SURVIVAL TORCH
The Bear Grylls Survival Torch is a lot like Bear
Grylls—mighty, powerful and up for some adventure.
The Survival Torch features a water-resistant rubber
handle, has a 36-hour runtime and an interior cap-
sule to store anything from waterproof matches to
On high it’s 15 lumens, with an overall length of
5.98 inches, a weight of 3.89 ounces and runs on AA
batteries. It’s ready for survival. Are you?
Two, for the price of one! This 2-
i n-1 Fl ashback by Kel t y i s an
adjustable spotlight and lantern—
all in a compact, durable aluminum
casi ng wi t h rubberi zed non-sl i p
Features a five-step switch that
allows for high to strobe in seconds.
This strobe light could just save
your life out there.
PRODUCT 2-IN-1 LED WIND-UP
MSRP VARIES PER RETAILER
20 Tritronic Optrimax LEDs with an
11 LED latern function
9-LED t orch f unct i on, bl ack sof t
touch finish, magnetic base stand and
Wind this latern up for one minute,
and you’ll get 30 minutes of power for 9
LEDs or 25 minutes of power of 11 LEDs
It can also be charged with AC/DC
BY TORREY KIM
eing self-reliant in the wake of a disaster—whether it’s natural or
manmade—doesn’t just mean you have to find shelter.
You’ll need sustenance to keep your mental and physical strength, and
you probably can’t rely on any grocery store to provide it for you. Consider
these six essentials when preparing your survival pantry.
1. READY YOUR SOIL IN ADVANCE
If your contingency plan is to grab a cucumber from the refrigerator after a
disaster and plant the seeds in your yard, you’ll be hungry for quite a while,
experts say. Instead, know what type of soil you have, and prepare it for a
garden well in advance of a disaster.
“A family should first begin with the richest quality soil possible by
developing it,” advises Lisa Bedford, author of “The Survival Mom” and
editor of the blog at www.thesurvivalmom.com. “This is an enormous
factor in successful gardening. Begin a compost bucket, or if space
allows, a larger compost area outdoors.”
2. DETERMINE WHAT TO PLANT
Do you love avocados? Don’t start planting the pits right away. Instead,
visit farmer’s markets to find out what grows best in your area, rather than
trusting the home improvement store nurseries or seed catalogs, Bedford
“Get to know your growing season and region,” she says. “Your county
extension office can provide a wealth of information for your area.”
You should also track what produce you already buy and use most.
“Don’t plant celery, for example, if you rarely use it and no one likes to eat
it,” she says.
If they grow well in your region, you should consider planting ingredients
commonly used in soup and stew recipes, such as onions, carrots, tomatoes
and green beans, because those can go far for large groups.
3. START A SMALL GARDEN
Once you’ve developed rich soil, you should plant a few seeds to see
whether they’re successful. But don’t fall into the common trap of sowing
Grow and Preserve Your Own Food With These 6 Tips
thousands of seeds right off the bat, because you could end up
wasting precious time and money if they don’t sprout.
“Start with a small 4x4 plot or raised bed, or even just a pot or
two,” Bedford says.
4. KEEP A GARDEN JOURNAL
You should maintain a written record of what you plant and
where, Bedford advises.
“Trust me, you’ll forget which varieties of tomatoes died off
and which thrived,” she says. “As the growing season progresses,
take note of successes and failures as well as your own actions,
such as watering schedules. You’ll likely figure out why some
plants didn’t thrive while others went on to be productive.”
5. FOOD PRESERVATION METHODS
Once you’ve grown a thriving garden, you’ll want to preserve
your surplus in case you’ll have to subsist on it for long periods.
Contrary to popular belief, preserved foods aren’t limited solely to
jerky and pickles.
“Just about every food can be preserved at home,” Bedford
says. “For example, spaghetti sauce and cooked risotto can both
be dehydrated. Meat and chicken can be safely home-canned, as
can homemade soups and stews.”
The easiest way to preserve food is to buy a food dehydrator
(or build one using online instructions). You can dehydrate your
own garden’s bounty or prepare for the future by buying vegetables
“When you come across bags of frozen produce on sale, buy
multiple bags,” Bedford advises. “The produce can be placed on
the dehydrator trays without being thawed. It has already been
washed and cut into small pieces, so it’s ready to go!”
Likewise, fresh produce gleaned in bulk from farmer’s markets
can be dehydrated, as can canned fruit.
If you’d like to can your own fruit and vegetables, keep in
mind that the process requires more supplies and takes a bit of
“However, having wholesome food without any unwanted
additives makes it worthwhile,” Bedford says. “The key is to
DISCOVER THE 4 METHODS OF WATER PURIFICATION
Food isn’t the only menu ingredient essential to your survival—you’ll
also need clean water to drink.
“Water can be purified in four ways,” Bedford says.
She suggests that a family should always have at least three of these
ways available to them. Check out this breakdown that she offers as a
quick primer on water purification.
Bleach is inexpensive and handy but also has a one-year shelf life,
after which it is only half as effective.
“Iodine and iodine-based purification products come with numerous
health warnings but can be handy, especially for camping and outdoor
activities,” she adds.
“I recommend a filtering system,” Bedford suggests. “These filtering
systems can be large countertop versions or small enough to fit in a
Water should be boiled to the point of pasteurization or 149 degrees
Fahrenheit. At that point, harmful bacteria are destroyed, but to be safe,
keep the water at a rolling boil for a full minute.
“Be sure to have a way to heat water in case of a power outage,”
4. ULTRAVIOLET LIGHT
“SteriPEN makes portable units that use UV light to purify water,” she
suggests. “This product can be purchased online as well as in many
outdoor stores, such as R.E.I.”
• Prepare your soil
• Determine what to plant
• Start a small garden
• Keep a journal
• Learn how to preserve foods
• Include comfort foods
• BOOK: “The Survival Mom”
• WEB: www.thesurvivalmom.com
• BOOK: “Ball Complete Book of Home
• SUNDRY: Local farmer’s market
• BOOK: Your own journal
In addition to these purification meth-
ods, families should store at least one gal-
lon of water per person per day in order to
be ready for short-term emergencies.
follow written instructions in a book such as the ’Ball Complete
Book of Home Preserving’ closely and completely.”
6. COMFORT FOODS
Once you’ve got your fruit and vegetable plan underway,
consider stocking some of your favorite menu items.
“Any time a family must rely on their stored food will be a time
of stress, so familiar comfort foods should be included,” Bedford
says. “Make a list of several breakfast, lunch and dinner meals
your family enjoys, and begin looking for ways to store those
If young kids are still at home, be sure to store some foods that
will be essential to their health, such as instant milk, peanut butter,
fruits, vegetables and various grains.
“Food storage companies, such as Shelf Reliance, now offer
enormous varieties of products that include organic foods, gluten-
free products and non-GMO produce. Food storage doesn’t have to
be limited to buckets of wheat, rice and beans!” Bedford adds. ASG
Torrey Kim is a freelance writer and author of the book “Portrait
of the Outer Banks.” She lives with her family in North Carolina,
where she enjoys camping, swimming, hiking, gardening and most
other outdoor activities.
“Just about every food can be preserved at home,”
Bedford says. “For example, spaghetti sauce
and cooked risotto can both be dehydrated.
Meat and chicken can be safely home-canned,
as can homemade soups and stews.”
CALLINGall tech-savvy nerds.
Now you’ll be able to survive Mother Nature’s
wrath because these lifesaving innovations are every
clever camper’s saving grace (or if you’re just an
average Joe who doesn’t know jack about wilder-
Thanks to these bright ideas that will inspire a,
“Why didn’t I think of that?” you’ll be able to get
clean water, signal for rescue, stay warm, eat and
have light to do it all. Using the latest in “green”
technology—solar, fire and waterpower—is what this
geeky camper’s guide is all about.
There’s no shame in being a geek, because it’s
the smart ones that make it out, alive.
9 Innovative Products that Will Take You
to New Survival Heights
BY KAREN WILHELMSEN
LEAD PHOTO COURTESY OF EARTHEASY
DISTRIBUTED BY EARTHEASY
You can have knives and guns and gear, but if you
don’t have clean water, you won’t last.
The LifeStraw, a personal water filter that’s gain-
ing international attention for the possibilities that lie
in its future, is able to filter down to 0.2 microns.
That means i t depl et es cont ami nat ed wat er of
99.99% of bacteria and protozoa, and filters out dirt
particles to make dirty water drinkable. Did we men-
tion that it does this as you suck water up the straw?
No waiting, no fuss.
The LifeStraw surpasses EPA guidelines for safe
drinking water, filters 264 gallons, weighs only two
ounces and has a shelf life of five years. As a bonus,
f or every 10 sol d Eart heasy donat es t o cri si s-
affected people in developing countries, and plants a
tree with every order.
What if you forgot to
charge the cell phone and
couldn’t call for help? Or
if you were in the wilder-
ness so l ong t hat your
cell phone battery died?
The Etón Corporation has
the answer to your dis-
The Axis, which is the
partnership of Etón and
the American Red Cross, is a hybrid machine with multiple
capabilities—it’s a digital alarm clock and radio, gets NOAA
weatherband alerts, is a four LED flashlight with a flashing red
beacon light to signal for help and a cell phone charger. To
power the machine or to get energy to charge your phone, just
start crankin’ away on the hand turbine. One minute of crank-
ing provides you with a 30 second phone call.
It’s a jacket. No, it’s a tent. Perhaps, a sleeping bag? Wait,
a mosquito net?
Yep, if you guessed anyone of those, you’re right … kind of.
It’s all four—in one—but you can pass it off as just a jacket
and whip out the fancy stuff only when needed.
Start off with a rain jacket that easily converts into a tent
and sleeping bag device built in. It’s ideal for the camper who
wants to carry little to nothing or a savvy outdoor explorer
ready for emergency shelter. Even use the detachable tent as a
It’s equipped to last you through three seasons (all year
except for winter, but you can wear it over heavy winter
clothes) and is
keep water out
and while insu-
GLOBAL SUN OVEN
DISTRIBUTED BY EARTHEASY
PRODUCT SUN OVEN
It’s like an Easy
Bake Oven, but it’s
f or bi g ki ds.
I nst ead of a l i ght
bul b, however , i t
uses natural sun-
l i ght and can boi l
or steam too.
Wei ghi ng i n at
21 pounds, t he
oven is portable for
camping and ideal to cook in during a power failure. This thing
cooks in the same amount of time a conventional oven does, but
is environmentally friendly, has collapsible reflectors and can
bake two loaf pans at once.
SNOW LIZARD PRODUCTS
PRODUCT AQUA TEK S
seems like some-
thing James Bond
Check it out: a
car chase scene
and Bond l oses
cont r ol , hi s car
f l i ps over t he
br i dge i nt o t he
ocean. He squirms
out, water rushing
on al l si des,
pulling him down.
He escapes, pulls
out his phone and makes a call—20 feet underwater.
The scene isn’t real, but the gadget is.
AQUA TEK S is a phone case that can be safely submerged up to
20 feet underwater. An integrated 2000mAh battery extends your
phone’s charge by up to 1.5 times more; meanwhile, solar panels
on the back of the case charge it.
It’s compatible with the iPhone 4/4S, weighs 11 ounces, has a
temperature range of -40°F to 140°F and protects your phone
from drops of up to 20 feet.
The solar charger can provide a boost to your phone so you can
call for search and rescue in a dangerous situation.
MSRP $229.99 AND UP
You’re miles and miles away from home, and your cell phone’s
battery is dead. Luckily, now there’s a way to charge it—or any
device that uses a USB charger. With PowerTrekk just add water,
for instant power no matter where you are.
With water, PowerTrekk uses fuel cell technology to convert
hydrogen into electricity, with no harmful byproducts. Unlike solar
chargers, this guy is quicker and weather doesn’t impact its per-
formance. If you have no water, the portable battery pack can
operate on its own
as stored power
erTrekk Fuel Cell
creates 2.5 watts
of power at 5
volts, and can run
for more than two
PRODUCT BODYGARD SURVIVOR
This is about as much resource-
fulness as you can jam-pack into a
tiny eight ounce, 3-by-2 by 5.5-
This 12-in-1 tool is amazing.
We’re talkin’ 45 hours of flashlight
usage, 24 hours of an emergency
flasher use, two hours of FM radio
or two and a half hours of a secu-
rity alarm going off—all running
off the internal lithium ion battery.
Let ’ s go over al l t he t ool s
“thing” is: panic alarm, LED flash-
light, digital FM radio, motion acti-
vated security alarm, red emergency flasher, cell phone/MP3
charger, AC chargi ng adapter, si gnal i ng mi rror, sel f-charg-
ing/hand-cranking capability, thermometer, adjustable lanyard
and a compass.
In need of a saving grace? The panic button delivers a pierc-
ing alarm and red flashing light.
If you’re going into the wild all the time without this useful,
affordable device, think again.
PRODUCT N200 SOLAR LIGHT
An i dea as bri ght as
the sun. Environmentally
friendly and oh so conve-
No mor e ker osene,
candl es, mat ches or
flashlights needed. This
t r anspor t abl e hangi ng
light bulb produces 13.5
l umens on hi gh and i s
powered by sunlight. This
light will run for about a
year and hal f , and t he
battery can be replaced
to keep the bulb running
You can even put the
N200 Solar Light outside
because it can withstand rain. Inside, it will automatically
switch off in bright light to save its charge.
Operation is capable in temperatures ranging from -4°F to
131°F. Support Nokero’s efforts to eliminate harmful and pollut-
ing fuels by donating the bulbs to their partner organizations.
PRODUCT RESQLINK 406 GPS
The ultra light and com-
pact ResQLink 406 GPS is a
l i fesavi ng personal l ocator
beacon that uses GPS track-
ing from a powerful 406MHz
satellite signal so a rescue
team can find you. The 66-
channel GPS fixes your loca-
tion within 100 meters and
alerts a distress call while
emitting a bright LED strobe
light so you’re even easier to
Just put it in your pocket
or backpack. Once it’s acti-
vated, it will continue trans-
mitting for around 30 hours.
It’s even waterproof up to 16 feet for about an hour, or 33 feet
for 10 minutes. ASG
Tips for Wilderness Survival
STUNNINGshe can be.
The afternoon sunshine on Yosemite’s Half Dome
highlights some of her best features.
Lovely she so often is. In June, the morning light
dances beautifully across her dew-covered meadows.
And perfection describes her “figure.” Summer streams
gurgle and meander through paradise, ultimately feeding
into a pristine lake.
She is the world’s loveliest lady. She is Mother
As gorgeous as she is, remember that Mother
Nature has another side. From her inclement weather
to hazardous terrain to her swift water to the fury of
her storms she can be so deadly.
You must respect her—at all times—and be prepared
should you get lost or when the temperature soars or
drops. In the following pages, you will find tips for these
situations and more.
The American Survival Guide. Because adversity
BY KAREN WILHELMSEN
PHOTOS COURTESY OF LAURA BOMBIER
HE’S the Real Deal.
And make that the original Real Deal.
He’s Les Stroud, and you’re about to go one-
on-one with Survivorman, a man whose two best
friends are adventure and adrenaline. -Editor
How did you transition from studying music
in college to becoming a survival expert?
Not too many survival guys are into music,
but what it comes down to is that all my life
I’ve had a couple of passions. I grew up first
with the passion of watching Tarzan and
Jacques Cousteau and really wanting to be an
outdoor adventurer and photographer.
But, when I was a teenager I discovered
rock n’ roll, and I became obsessed with music,
which I then did for the next 10 years. I
wrestled between these two loves and
around the age of 24 I decided to pull out of
music and focus entirely on adventure.
So it’s not that I became a musician and
found survival. It’s more that ever since I can
remember both loves have cycled through my
How did Jacques Cousteau inspire you?
It was like Tarzan was my compass and
Jacques Cousteau was my compass bearing. I
wanted to be out in the wilderness and
doing adventure and survival and all that
stuff. Jacques Cousteau was a filmmaker and
around wildlife all the time, which gave real
purpose and real reason to be out there
doing something other than just hanging out
in the bush. He was doing things no one else
had done before; and that’s the inspiration
Tell us how your show “Survivorman”
spawned from the hit reality TV show
When I was studying in survival, I saw a
really cheesy film about a guy surviving
overnight. I thought, “It’s a pretty cheesy film,
but a great idea.” I wanted to do some home
DVDS—back then it was home videos—on it, but
thought, how much better would it be if I went
out and survived and filmed it? That’d make a
much better story and much better film.
So I sort of shelled that
idea for a long time, like 14
years. In 2000, the “Survivor
series came out, and I starte
doing interviews about if th
show was really survival;
well it’s not survival at all,
but a light bulb went off. I
called the networks and
wanted to actually survive
for real and film it myself,
which is the way that it
needs to be done or it’s no
really survival if there’s
people there with me. The
networks loved it, and the
rest is history.
Discovery Channel’s “Survivorman” Les Stroud Shares
His Journey and His 3 Zones of Survival
In a survival situation, once you go through
the three zones of survival, you have a lot
of answers, says Les Stroud.
With the creation of
“Survirorman,” Les Stroud
(left) created the survivor
“… be proactive,
is not passive, it’s
GO TO: www.lesstroud.ca
• WATCH: Discovery Channel’s Shark Week, “Beyond Survival” and “Survivorman”
• READ: His books “Will to Live,” “Survive! The Ultimate Edition” and “Survive!”
• HEAR: Stroud’s music, sampled on his Web site
You produced, wrote, filmed and hosted
“Survivorman.” To be a true survivor
show, is that what needs to be done?
The reality is that I’m no more noble than
the next guy. You can’t go out and say, “Look
at me, I’m surviving,” when you have a crew
of people with you and you’re keeping to a
shooting schedule and union rules and guys
who eat their lunches sitting down beside you.
You can’t film survival when you’re play-
acting, when you finish all of your takes and
then you go to a hotel. There’s no claim to
actually surviving with shows that are shot
that way. To film surviving you need to be
going to bed hungry at night, you need to be
having no food or no water, no shirt. I felt that
for me to truly say, “Look at me, I’m surviving,”
I needed to be really surviving. I think it just
creates a much more realistic picture then the
other version, which is faked or set up.
You can’t fake survival when you’re really
out there. You can’t fake being tired, cold,
hungry and starving—and these things hap-
pen. So I felt that, yeah, for me to be alone,
that was the magic ingredient to portraying.
Because that’s what I am doing; I’m still por-
traying “something,” because I do know I’m
going to come home eventually. But how close
can I get and still make a film?
What’s the most dangerous situation
you’ve ever been in?
Probably getting heatstroke in the Kalahari
Desert [in southern Africa]. That was really
close. And then recently in Norway I got stuck
on the side of a mountain in the freezing
rain, which was quite dangerous—one
because of heatstroke and the other
How do you remain calm during those
I utilize my skill set, my experience level.
The big thing for me is to stop and assess the
situation. Once I assess the situation, I go over
all that information and can get the answers I
need. That basically helps me to remain calm.
If somebody else were thrust into a similar
situation, what advice could you give
The first thing is absolutely to stay calm.
The second thing, which helps you stay calm,
is to assess.
I like to think of it as three zones: The first zone of assessment
is, what do you personally have on your body? Are you injured?
Are you hungry? Do you have food?
The second zone of assessment is your immediate gear
around you—do you have tents, sleeping bags, what’s the situa-
tion, is there anybody around you that’s hurt or anybody with
you that can help you?
And then the third zone of assessment is the larger picture.
How far away are you from rescue? Is anybody coming? Can you
make it out? Are you stuck?
Once you go through those three zones of assessments on
yourself and what’s around you, you have a lot of answers. And
with those answers you can be proactive. And that’s the next
thing, to be proactive, because survival is not passive—it’s active.
But you can’t be proactive if you don’t have answers, so you get
Do you find it discouraging when other “survival shows” are
purely for entertainment, rather than teaching valuable
First of all, I’ll say something to you bluntly. I created the sur-
vival genre. It didn’t exist before “Survivorman.” You can go back
and check it out, there was nothing there.
When I brought “Survivorman” onto television, it was two or
three years as it built and then it suddenly exploded and became
a hit. Immediately on the hit of “Survivorman,” it mushroomed
into all these other shows. One thing that’s important to me is
that I created the genre itself, which sounds a little pretentious,
but it plays out, so I don’t mind saying it. There are two answers
to your question:
The positive level—I am happy that excitement for the skills has
built up because of the various shows. It’s got people wanting to
go outside, it’s got people wanting to take courses, it’s got people
touching the earth again. That’s an important to me. So I would not
deny that. I think it’s a beautiful thing that from this little tiny idea
for “Survivorman” it has expanded into an entire genre of shows
specifically dealing with survival and wilderness skills.
On the negative side, when I create “Survivorman,” it’s from
the angle of wanting to show survival and make films about it.
The new shows come from the angle of “we want to make a TV
show.” You know, get ratings and in some cases maybe make
some TV stars. I never got into this to be a survival guru, on
the larger media perspective or in terms of the public’s eye.
I’m just doing what I do. So there is a negative angle that
because that’s the angle other shows come from, skills are taught
that are incorrect. They’re on an objective level—wrong skills to
teach, bad skills and even dangerous skills to teach.
In addition, some things are made up that just don’t even
exist. I remember on a show it was taught that you can squeeze
elephant dung and get water, but you can’t do that. What is done
is that elephant dung is soaked in water and squeezed when the
camera’s rolling. To me, that’s the negative side. That’s what’s
not right. Mostly I take the high road and laugh, but I get irked
seeing skills that are just blatantly wrong to teach.
I also get irked when I see, even though disclaimers have
been placed, shows leading you to believe that people were
going through stuff that they weren’t. These things are all set up
and staged. So there’s that smaller piece of me that goes, “Huh.
Here I am putting my life on the line and at great risk, to portray
true and real survival as best as I can, and along comes some
other show that is pretending to do that, and even upping the
ante in terms of what’s shown on camera, but they are faking the
Part of that is irksome, but after many years of seeing it, what
am I gonna do? I’m gonna do what I do—teach solid survival skills,
have fun doing it, be myself, be myself on camera. I’ve moved on
from that a long time ago.
Even though I will have new survival shows, my own per-
sonal ambition is to be progressive and always do new things.
Not cranking out 150 “Survivorman” episodes because I know I’m
gonna get the money. ASG
3 ZONES OF SURVIVAL
What do you personally have on your body? Are you injured? Are you
hungry? Do you have food?
Do you have tents, sleeping bags, what’s the situation, is there anybody
around you that’s hurt or anybody with you that can help you?
How far away are you from rescue? Is anybody coming? Can you make
it out? Are you stuck?
Once you go through those three zones of assessments on yourself and
what’s around you, you have a lot of answers. And with those answers
you can be proactive.
“The first thing is absolutely to stay
calm. The second thing, which helps
you stay calm, is to assess.”
—Les Stroud, on how people should
handle a survival situation
STILL GOING STRONG
That is how long Camillus Cutlery has been supplying the world with
“reliable, innovative and quality-made knives.” They have, to be sure,
survived the true test of time.
As one of the oldest knife manufacturers, Camillus Cutlery has always
“answered the call for quality,” and you can bet they will continue to do
so with their hunting, fishing, sporting and tactical knives.
Check them out at www.camillusknives.com.
The Best Backpacks for Any
Survival or Emergency Situation
ORDINARY backpacks these are not.
These are the ones built to last in the wilder-
ness as long as you can. These are designed to
attract the attention of rescue teams. They are
waterproof, durable, functional and practical.
These are the ones that can mean the differ-
ence between survival and death.
Ordinary backpacks these are not.
PRODUCT OFFGRID SOLAR BACKPACK
Off the grid is right! This backpack has two solar panels that gener-
ate power from sunlight. Four to five hours in the sun will fully charge
a typical phone, and one hour will provide three hours of talk time—
perfect for an emergency call whenever you might need it.
Waterproof, lightweight and built to withstand abuse
The solar pocket is removable and can be attached to other bags as
1,500 cubic inches of storage space, a padded laptop sleeve, inte-
grated phone pouch and other pockets
PRODUCT ACT ZERO 50 + 15
Bui l t for those who travel
light and fast, with breath-
able padding for ventilation
and cont our shoul der
3 pounds, 4 ounces
of durable material,
l i ke Dur at ex and
PRODUCT MT. ISOLATION 65L
Versatile pocketing, ease of use
and an adjustable suspension will
bring years of use.
Internal sleeve with padded
bottom features a single hook
for a hydration pack
Zi pper ed sl eepi ng bag
compart ment ; removabl e
t op l i d wi t h t wo pocket s
make i t convert i bl e t o a
Orange hi gh-vi si bi l i ty
rain cover with reflective
PRODUCT 3-DAY LITE EMERGENCY KIT
For a natural disaster or the unexpected, this
three-day emergency kit, pre-packed backpack is
all you need.
Includes: food, water, warmth, light, communi-
cation and First Aid
Easy transporting or great to store in case of
PRODUCT WOMEN’S SAGE 45
A balance of volume, weight and robust features make this
backpack your reliable companion—built for the female anatomy
Water-resistant roll top style pocket; molded foam back panel,
harnesses and waist belt
External hydration access
Comes is a beautiful Rosewood red (shown), Tule blue and
PRODUCT SCHOOL BACKPACK
This backpack features a mobile personal alarm system
in the event of an emergency—urban, wilderness or wher-
ever—for immediate attention in a crisis.
Find yourself in trouble and off trail, a quick tug on the
activation pin sets off a loud audible alarm and LED lights
and can run continuously on two 9-volt batteries for 2
Perfect for packing for summer hikes and outings, the
iSafe backpack is lightweight and comes in a variety of
(Continued on page 58)
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PRODUCT FURY 35
The Fury 35 is part of Kelty’s
Agi l e Ser i es—wi t h a l i ght -
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tem (so weight is transferred to
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wi t h i t s wearer) , vent i l at i ng
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Integrated pull-out rain cover
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Multi-directional air flow for
PRODUCT CHUTER 28
A gr eat wi nt er pack f or har sh, col d
Wet l ocker under padded
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Versatile strap system
can carry snowshoes or
PRODUCT RIBZ FRONT PACK
Al ready have a back-
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perfect addition to a back-
pack with wearable pock-
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Onl y wei ghs 11. 7
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Comes in stealth black
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(Continued from page 56)
PRODUCT ASCENT 22
MSRP VARIES UPON RETAILER
The new Ascent 22 is as
r ugged as t he out door s
themselves. The MotionFit
System contours the body
for extra comfort.
Features include: ice
axe/pol e attachment,
val uabl es compar t -
ment, separate front
pocket and bot t om
compar t ment , si de
pockets and SOS label
PRODUCT GARNET 20
The Garnet 20 has a
l ar ge f r ont st ash
pocket , f ul l -panel
access; hi p bel t
r eady and has a
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PRODUCT STANDARD 4 PERSON BACKPACK SURVIVAL KIT (SKBP4SS)
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You’ll be prepared for a slew of
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BY TORREY KIM
The Keys To Surviving
In Extreme Cold, Heat
“Heat and cold are the No. 1 killers
in any survival situation.”
president and head instructor
at the Sigma 3 Survival School
THE ferocity of Mother Nature.
From her bone-chilling cold to her oppressive heat, she can be deadly.
In addition to staying hydrated, the most important tool you need to cope with extreme heat
or cold is the same thing—your clothing.
“Heat and cold are the No. 1 killers in any survival situation,” says Robert Allen, president
and head instructor at the Sigma 3 Survival School in Arkansas.
If you’re in an extreme weather situation and don’t have access to a store for gear, your
clothing can serve multipurpose uses in both weather extremes, if you know how to repurpose
them for additional functions. Following are some tips that can save your life.
BEAT THE HEAT
If you’re ever stuck in the sun without access to shade, use your clothes to shade you, Allen
says. You can wet your clothing and wrap it around your head and neck to stay cool when
necessary, or you can rig your clothes to create a small tent that will shade you from the sun.
“Shelter is the biggest priority any time you’re trying to survive,” he says. “Not just if
you’re trying to keep out of cold weather, but just as important if you’re avoiding the sun. You
need to stay fully covered, because you can bake yourself in a heartbeat if it’s hot outside and
you aren’t covered.”
HOW TO BEAT THE HEAT
• To stay cool, wet your clothing and wrap it
around your head and neck.
• To create shade, rig your clothes to create
a small tent.
FIGHT THE COLD
If you find yourself facing particularly cold temperatures and
you don’t have the right gear to stay warm, you can make it
“Anything that causes dead air space is basically insulation,”
Allen says. “You’ve got your base shelter, which is your clothing—
then you take that and fill it with grass or whatever is around
you to create that dead air space. If you stuff enough dead
leaves or pine needles into your clothes, you’ve made your own
sleeping bag or parka, and that can retain a lot of heat and keep
PREPARE FOR FLUCTUATION
No matter what the circumstances, you should be ready to
adjust your strategy once the sun goes down.
“I spent a year in Iraq and saw temperatures upwards of 130
degrees during the day,” Allen says. “Then in the evening it can
go down into the 80s—which doesn’t seem that low, but that quick
fluctuation is a massive shock to your system.”
Therefore, before the sun sets, you should have your insu-
lation ready to put into your clothing, and remove any wet
gear so you don’t get the chills at night.
Three items you don’t want to forget, no matter what the
weather is, are a knife, fire starter and water, Allen says.
The knife can help you cut branches to create a shelter or
make a fire, among myriad other uses. The fire starter will help
you create warmth and a cooking area effortlessly, and the water
is a must for your survival.
PARAMOUNT IN BOTH
HEAT AND COLD
Most people know how important it is to
stay hydrated in the heat—but it may sur-
prise you to learn that rationing your water
is just as important if you’re in the cold
No matter what the temperature where
you are and how tempting it may be to chug
your last bottle of water, you should stick to
taking sips of your water ration, says Reggie
Bennett, owner of Mountain Shepherd
Wilderness Survival School in Catawba, VA.
“Your body can only process one liter of
water an hour,” Bennett says, “so you’re
better off taking in small amounts at a
Ration your sweat so you won’t have to
water, Bennett says.
he heat, stay in the shade so you
t sweat,” he advises. “In any
ather, breathe through your nose
d not your mouth, talk as little as
ossible, and eat as little as possi-
e (especially protein, which takes
re water to process). In that way,
l be conserving your water so
need to take less in.”
Bennett trained for cold weather survival
by studying people who live among polar ice
caps, where he learned the essential adage,
“To sweat is to die in a cold environment,”
he says. “If you get dehydrated in the cold,
you set yourself up for frostbite because the
less water you have in your skin, the less
heat you can retain, and you can get severe
In addition, he says, the air in cold
weather is so arid that “it steals the water
from your breath.”
• Anything that causes dead air space is
• Your base shelter is your clothing.
• Fill that with grass or whatever is
around you to create dead air space.
• If you stuff enough dead leaves or pine
needles into your clothes, you’ve made
your own sleeping bag or parka, and that
can retain a lot of heat and keep you
WHEN THE WATER
IS RUNNING LOW
If you get down to your last bottle
of water, keep taking sips of it
throughout the day while
you’re in search of
a fresh water supply.
3 ESSENTIAL ITEMS
REGARDLESS OF THE WEATHER,
YOU NEED TO HAVE THE FOLLOWING:
• A knife
• A fire starter
While Mother Nature is usually awe-inspiring, she has a nasty
side, too. So be prepared and never take her for granted.
Torrey Kim is a freelance writer and author of the book
“Portrait of the Outer Banks.” She lives with her family in North
Carolina, where she enjoys camping, swimming, hiking, gardening
and most other outdoor activities. ASG
NAME: Sigma 3 Survival School
NAME: Mountain Shepherd Wilderness
LOCATION: Catawba, VA
“Shelter is the biggest
priority any time you’re
trying to survive. Not just
if you’re trying to keep
out of cold weather,
but just as important
if you’re avoiding the sun.”
president and head instructor
at the Sigma 3 Survival School
To prevent dehydration in
the extreme cold, as it is in
the heat, it’s critical to
drink water. Make sure a
knife is on your list of
PHOTO COURTESY OF
LIGHT MY FIRE
LIGHT MY FIRE
PRODUCT SWEDISH FIREKNIFE
MSRP $34.99 AND UP
OVERALL LENGTH: 8.5 inches
BLADE LENGTH: 3.75 inches
STEEL: Sandvik 12C27 stainless steel
HANDLE: TPE rubber material
WEIGHT: 3.31 ounces
NOTES: Available in 5 colors,
the Swedish FireKnife has a handle
equipped with a fire starter.
WHENdisaster strikes, will you be prepared?
From skinning dead animals to cutting wood to slicing rope to
cutting a path to self-defense, you need to be ready, which is exactly
why you need a reliable survival knife in your bug-out bag. The
knives showcased in this section are rugged and practical … exactly
what you can depend on in an emergency.
PRODUCT 275 ADAMAS
OVERALL LENGTH: 8.7 inches
BLADE LENGTH: 3.82 inches
STEEL: D2 Tool Steel
WEIGHT: 7.7 ounces
NOTES: A portion of the sales proceeds will be donated to
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PRODUCT HOG HUNTER, MODEL 865
STEEL: 440 stainless
HANDLE: Texturized rubber handle
NOTES: Browning’s Hog Hunter fills the bill for a big carry
knife. It features textured rubber finger grooves, a nylon
sheath and full-tang construction.
PRODUCT FLASHPOINT LE
OVERALL LENGTH: 4.5 inches (closed)
BLADE LENGTH: 2.87 inches
STEEL: Titanium Coated 420HC
WEIGHT: 4 ounces
NOTES: As a bonus, the Flashpoint LE incorporates a bottle
opener and carabiner clip for attachment in the knife’s handle.
PRODUCT BUCK/HOOD HOODLUM
OVERALL LENGTH: 15.5 inches
BLADE LENGTH: 10 inches
STEEL: 5160 with powder coating
HANDLE: Black linen Micarta
WEIGHT: 14.6 ounces
NOTES: The Hoodlum’s handle has a shock migration system
and balances better than most large knives. It points quickly.
BLADE LENGTH: 4.33 inches
STEEL: Triple laminated stainless steel
HANDLE: Curly Birch
WEIGHT: 5.5 ounces
NOTES: Designed by Les Stroud, this knife is great all-around,
but especially for hunting.
COLUMBIA RIVER KNIFE
& TOOL (CRKT)
PRODUCT FREE RANGE HUNTER
OVERALL LENGTH: 8.875 inches
BLADE LENGTH: 3.75 inches
STEEL: 8Crl3MoV, satin finish
HANDLE: Double injection
WEIGHT: 4.4 ounces
NOTES: Designed by Russ Komer, which features both fixed-
blade and folding knife designs.
COLUMBIA RIVER KNIFE &
PRODUCT S.P.E.W. (SMALL POCKET EVERYDAY WHARN-
OVERALL LENGTH: 6.25 inches
BLADE LENGTH: 3 inches
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PRODUCT BEAR GRYLLS ULTIMATE FIXED BLADE KNIFE
OVERALL LENGTH: 10 inches
BLADE LENGTH: 4.8 inches
STEEL: Stainless steel drop-point
HANDLE: Texturized rubber
WEIGHT: 11.2 ounces (not including sheath)
NOTES: An emergency whistle is integrated into the lanyard
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hammering and the sheath features a fire starter. It also
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PRODUCT CAMP 10
OVERALL LENGTH: 16 inches
BLADE LENGTH: 10 inches
STEEL: Carbon steel, powercoated
WEIGHT: 1 pound 3 ounces
NOTES: Clear brush, hack wood and fulfill all your survival
needs, because this 10-inch blade is multifunctional.
PRODUCT OHT (ONE HAND TOOL)
BLADE: Straight edge, 2.37 inches
LENGTH CLOSED: 4.5 inches
WEIGHT: 9.9 ounces
NOTES: Includes: one-hand open-
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blades, strap cutter, can
and bottle opener, saw,
screwdrivers and oxygen bot-
tle wrench—and the pliers
are spring loaded. Nylon
included; comes in black or
MSRP $34.99 AND UP
OVERALL LENGTH: 3.8 inches (closed)
BLADE LENGTH: 2.6 inches
BLADE: Combo or serrated
STEEL: 420 stainless
HANDLE: Stainless steel
WEIGHT: 7 ounces
NOTES: The Sidekick combines 15
tools (pliers, cutter, knives, screw-
driver, can opener, wire cutter,
etc.) into one portable, useful
SMITH & WESSON
PRODUCT SEARCH & RESCUE, MODEL CKSUR7
MSRP VARIES PER RETAILER
OVERALL LENGTH: 13.75 inches
BLADE LENGTH: 8.63 inches
STEEL: 440 stainless steel
HANDLE: Rubberized aluminum
WEIGHT: 17 ounces
NOTES: Comes with a sheath that makes it
storable in a bug-out bag.
PRODUCT BLADE LIGHT - FIXED
OVERALL LENGTH: 11.3 inches
BLADE LENGTH: 5.7 inches
BATTERY: 1 AA (included)
WEIGHT: 7.1 ounces
HANDLE: Glass-reinforced nylon
SHEATH: Hard-molded nylon
NOTES: Water-resistant and comes with a
WEBSITE WWW.SOGKNIVES COM
OVERALL LENGTH: 6.2 i
BLADE LENGTH: 2.9 inch
WEIGHT: 6.3 ounces
SHEATH: Nylon or leather
NOTES: It’s pliers, a pock
screwdrivers, can/bottle o
tweezers and more—all in
PRODUCT COMPACT HATCHET
OVERALL LENGTH: 10 inches
BLADE LENGTH: 5.5 inches
STEEL: Swedish Carbon steel
HANDLE: American Hickory
WEIGHT: 1.2 pounds
NOTES: Ideal for camping and wildlife due its
light weight and versatility, the Compact Hatchet
is useful for collecting firewood, and can attach
to a backpack or belt.
W.R. CASE & SONS CUTLERY
PRODUCT #137 LOCKBACK XX-CHANGER
MSRP VARIES UPON RETAILER
OVERALL LENGTH: 5 inches (closed)
WEIGHT: 12 ounces
NOTES: This knife comes with four blades: clip, drop-point,
saw and guthook; each one fits in the frame and then works as
a conventional lockback folder. ASG
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our Business Directory
BY ADAM MORRA
6 Essentials for Navigating the Wilderness Without a GPS
YOU’RE all set.
You’ve tossed on your old cap, laced up your trusty hiking
boots and stuffed your pack full of must-haves like sunscreen,
protein bars and water. Moreover, you had the presence of mind
to check the local weather and to text a buddy your itinerary. In
terms of venturing out for that much-anticipated trek, you’re
pretty much good to go.
So, sure, while your primary choice for navigation may be the
use of a GPS receiver, these modern-day marvels are not without
their drawbacks. Factors such as insufficient battery life, subpar
accuracy, poor reception and system crashes suggest that other
options may also be worth pursuing.
Do you have a backup plan?
You will in a moment because it’s important to know that in
the event your GPS encounters a snag, you possess the ability
to confidently navigate your course via self-sufficient means.
Competitive orienteer Greg Lennon—a wilderness mapmaker and
outdoorsman with more than 20 years of experience—provided
the six essentials for effective navigation, sans the use of a GPS.
What is your purpose for navigating? Where are you trying to
get to and what is your timetable for doing so?
Generally, this concerns traveling from point A to B or perhaps
avoiding a potentially hazardous area. Whatever it may be,
establishing your purpose for navigating will save you time and
aid in defining your itinerary, says Lennon.
2 PLANNING, PREPARATION
An expansive category, planning and preparation is paramount
to successful navigating and generally refers to the collection of
whatever resources or information an individuals may want
to gather and organize ahead of time, to assist with their
trek, he says.
Examples of things to consider in this category are as follows:
• Do you know of potable water sources that will be
• Will you stockpile a surplus of water or food caches (in the
bush), available for procurement?
• Have you confirmed or identified sources of shelter?
• Do you know which plants are edible and likely to be
available during the time of year you are hiking?
• Can you rely upon being able to locate wood to burn for
cooking and warmth?
3 A MAP
Maps aid in pinpointing your location and help determine
where you want to go. They also establish a route for reaching
your destination, without
the need for electronic
assistance. They are
lightweight, easy to use,
extremely portable and
when secured in a map
case, extremely water-
Familiarizing yourself with the landscape you plan on traversing
through will aid in making your trek easier and decrease the
likelihood of problems, says Lennon.
“In some terrains, you might know that traveling along river
beds is actually pretty quick,” says Lennon. “In other terrains,
riverbeds are the absolute slowest, and that really depends on
TRAIN WITH LENNON,
To learn how to navigate or to
contact Greg Lennon, head to
Special thanks to Glen Schorr,
executive director for Orienteering USA.
“ … while your primary choice for
navigation may be the use of a GPS
receiver, these modern-day
marvels are not without
what part of the country
you’re in and the time of
along a ridge or using a
linear feature like a ridge is
something you can follow
easily, and it may or may no
be the fastest way, depending on the terrain. But if you’ve
done your due preparation and your planning and you know
the terrain, you’ll know, ‘Do I stay high or do I stay low?’ Is it
easy to go off-trail through the vegetation at the time of year
that I’m trying this, or is it next to impossible?”
Examples of getting to know the terrain are:
• Research the terrain type (grassland, forest, desert) and
consider how sunny or shaded a trail may be;
• Determine whether your degree of experience and your
fitness level are suited for a particular hike;
• Know the number of miles in length your trail is and how
high in elevation you will be hiking;
• Consider the scenery and wildlife you will likely encounter
along your outing;
• Know if the trail you plan on following is an “in and out”
trail or one that is looped;
• Join your local orienteering club. As a preamble to heading
out on your own, these groups provide instruction in navigation
and educate you about the surrounding terrain.
5 COMPASS USE
A compass is a navigational implement that measures
directions in a stationary frame of reference, relative to the
surface of the earth. It primarily orients your map and is used
for taking bearings. These tools aid in determining particulars
such as: where you’re headed, which way you need to head
and your current position.
6 TIME MANAGEMENT
Perhaps even more essential than a compass is the ability to
effectively use time to your advantage, he notes. In essence, this
translates to making the most of daylight. Navigating is far more
difficult at night and most plans will stipulate that you relegate it
to daylight hours. ASG
Adam Morra is a Los Angeles-based journalist who has
written for The Santa Monica Mirror, Ultimate MMA and American
Martial Arts Movement.
SOURCES FOR GEAR
For all your hiking and navigation needs, check out any of the following
BENEFITS OF A MAP
• Aids in pinpointing your location
• No electronic assistance needed,
no reliance on batteries
• Easy to use
• Waterproof in a casing
“In some terrains, traveling along river
beds is actually pretty quick.
In others, riverbeds are the absolute
slowest. It depends on what part
of the country you’re in and
the time of year.”
—Greg Lennon, competitive orienteer
DID YOU KNOW?
While it may cost you a bit more time, yielding to inclement weather
is recommended over navigating under substandard conditions.
The smartest and safest choice is to suspend your hike until conditions
improve. Always pay close attention to weather reports for the areas you
plan on navigating.
Familiarize yourself with terrain-based hazards such as crevasses
and areas with falling rock or unstable footing.
Identify precarious flora and fauna and avoid hiking at night, which
increases your probability of encountering difficulties. When used
effectively, a map is more beneficial than a compass.
Great Products, Functional Utilities
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We sometimes take for granted how we have
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Food and water. Because things happen.
PHOTO COURTESY OF
KNIFE AND TOOL
PRODUCT BEAR RESISTANT FOOD CANISTERS
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You need to eat, but don’t leave the food out, or pesky bears
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BV450 (weighs 2 pounds 1
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PRODUCT TRAVELER 3-IN-1 (RIGHT)
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Also available i s the rechargeable
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BYER OF MAINE
PRODUCT TRILITE WASH STATION
MSRP VARIES PER RETAILER
The TriLite Wash Station is the portable way to clean dish-
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PRODUCT BEAR GRYLLS CANTEEN
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For survival in the wild and
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PRODUCT LARGE URBAN GARDENING KIT
Al l t he essent i al s
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This kit includes: 10-
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PRODUCT FOZZILS SOLO PACK
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LIGHT MY FIRE
MSRP VARIES PER RETAILER (AROUND $8)
This meal kit is slim and perfect for easy packing (get the
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BY GARRETT KIM
Ensure Your Family’s Safety, Security
With This Post-Disaster Checklist
WHENdisaster strikes, life is anything but normal.
That’s why you must prepare today for how your family will
survive tomorrow. The following checklist, from Wolfgang Posth
of Wolf’s School of Survival in Plattsburgh, NY, will ensure that
you have all the essential safety requirements on-hand following
First and foremost, you’ll need somewhere to keep your family
safe, so a shelter—no matter how makeshift—should be a top
priority when you’re first establishing your post-disaster plan.
Whether you’re staying in a
tent made of old shower cur-
tains or in an abandoned
barn, you’ll be protected from
This skill will be essential
to keeping you warm and
having the ability to cook
meals. Make sure you have
matches, a flint, a lighter or
other fire-making materials on
You never know what kinds
of injuries might occur after a
disaster, so pack a First-Aid kit
with everything from bandages
to antiseptic ointments.
If you can navigate via
compass—or better yet, by
the constellations—you can
pack lightly in this regard.
But if not, make sure you
have a few comprehensive
U.S. maps. Don’t count on
GPS signals to be readily
You should ensure that you have a way to signal for help if
you need it, or to just help your family find you if they’re lost.
Flares, smoke signals, lightsticks, whistles or foghorns will be
essential to your survival.
6 WATER, FOOD
Nobody’s going to make it very long without a source of food
and water. If you can’t grow or find your own food, pack a supply
of non-perishable food or dehydrated/preserved food that you
can reconstitute later, as well as a very robust water supply.
A knife is one of the most essential
items you’ll require, and it will come
in handy for everything from cooking
to clearing brush. Other tools, such as
handheld shovels and hammers, may
You should anticipate the types of clothing and shoes that can
help you in all seasons, including boots, long underwear, hats
and jackets. Layers can always be removed if it gets hot.
Keep soap, antibacterial wipes, toilet paper and shampoo at
hand. Women should have feminine products. Add diapers if you
have young children with you.
10 COMMUNICATION DEVICES
You may be without
electricity, but you’ll still
want to get contact from
the world at large. Keep a
transistor radio, walkie-
talkies and plenty of bat-
teries with you. ASG
GET MORE INFO ON WOLF
Wolf's System of Survival
P.O. Box 2922
Plattsburgh, NY 12901
Jackets, Shoes, Gear, Equipment
GOODgear is a must. No exceptions.
If you want to survive in the toughest of
conditions, your gear has got to live up to the
test. The following compilation of jackets,
shoes, gear and various equipment will allow
you to do just that.
Good gear. Never leave home without it.
PHOTO COURTESY OF
TOUGH JACKETS & PANTS
PRODUCT MEN’S COMPOUNDER
The Compounder Shell uses an ultra
light, breathable fabric, and the 2.5-layer
construction features Omni-Dry technol-
ogy so you’ll stay dry, while Omni-Wick
EVAP wicks moisture from skin.
Venting for cooling airflow and ther-
moregulation when you need it most
Waterproof zippers and a draw cord
adjustable hem keeps
PRODUCT TERREX FAST
Use the normal sun frame for causal glasses or
transform them into the high-performance outdoor
model; double-snap nose bridge for fit and protec-
Non-slip, clear vision with anti-fog lenses and
Climacool ventilation system
Use the nose cover as spare part for defense
against wind and extreme temperatures
PRODUCT ABSOLUTE ZERO
Built to withstand the harshest condi-
tions atop the world’s highest peaks.
Waterproof 800-fill down, welded,
watertight baffle construction, insulated
Soft, stretchy, internal cuffs seal in
warmth; zip handwarmer pockets
Comes with an inter-
nal water bottle
pocket and mesh
PRODUCT 2L CRICK JACKET
Burton says the Crick Jacket is
“known to pack light and attack unex-
pected weather with fury”
Waterproof rainwear that is breathable
for staying dry on the trail, while it packs
away discreetly (so small it fits into its
own chest pocket, that doubles as a stuff
Zippered hand-warmer pockets;
comes in Midnight
Blue or Trench
PRODUCT GNAR HOODY JACKET—WOMEN’S
In chilly weather, this 800-fill goose
down jacket will keep you all warm
Down insulation is comfortable
and f eat ur es 100% pol yest er
taffeta l i ni ng, one i nteri or zi p
pocket, two dump pockets, cen-
ter front storm flap, fitted hood,
elasticized hem and cuffs, and
a stuff sack.
THE NORTH FACE
PRODUCT MEN’S MOUNTAIN LIGHT JACKET
Classic, all-around, waterproof, seam-
sealed, breathable GORE-TEX jacket
Center front zip with Velcro closure
Includes handy chest and stretch
PRODUCT TERRA ALPINE PANTS
MSRP $76 AND UP
A f usi on of nyl on and spandex
together for super stretch, techni cal
Perfect for high intensity movement
acti vi ty i n tough condi ti ons, such as
t r ekki ng on mount ai ns, cl i mbi ng or
Granite stretch fabric
Available in sizes XS-XXL, for men
PRODUCT ORGANIC ENDURANCE PERFORMANCE TEE
Made with “Natural Performance Technology,” and from pesti-
cide and herbicide free hemp and organic cotton
Durable, antimicrobial (for no unwanted odor)
The double traverse knit provides ventilation, and the natural
fibers are comfortable.
PRODUCT MEN’S EQUINOX CONVERT PANTS (SHORT)
Quick-dry, sun-protective fabric with
zip-off lower legs for the ultimate
convenience on the trail
Great for unpredictable temperatures,
and you’ll be ready for hot or cold
Comes in cairn, mushroom and
PRODUCT W NEW PACE STRIPE SS
Athletic jersey tee with dry
fiber and air circulation fea-
t ures pul l excess heat and
sweat away from the skin
Gr eat f or hi gh-i nt ensi t y
Fl at l ock st i t chi ng so no
seams irritate the skin
Also available in azure blue
PRODUCT MEN’S REGULAR SILK INTERLOCK CREW
The i nterl ock kni t i s
denser , so you’ l l st ay
warmer on chilly outdoor
Light and great for
l ayer i ng—i deal f or
travel with unexpected
100% silk makes
it a light, ultra com-
fortable and the per-
PRODUCT WOMEN’S ZIP MOCK
“Col d weat her gear
that actual l y keeps you
Brushed fleece interior,
dry moisture wicking and
stretch for mobility
Ant i -mi cr obi al and
Fl at seam f or con-
formabi l i ty and i t won’t
shrink when washed
Cushiony for long dis-
tance walks and running
Has a lightweight, mini-
mal, barely-there, glove-
like feel and weigh only 7.2
Comfortable enough so you can
keep going longer
PRODUCT TOWER PLUS GTX
An outstanding compact mountaineering boot compatible with semi-automatic
The tailored leather and suede upper delivers an incredible fit and secure edging.
The Vibram sole guarantees your feet won’t give out, no matter the journey.
Gore-Tex waterproofing for all-weather protection
PRODUCT DISCOVER GPS
The Discover includes a heart rate
monitor and software to down-
load/upload entire routes using Google
Earth; workout metrics, track log func-
tion, waypoint navigation, digital com-
pass, an EL backlight and more
30 m water resistance
Works on a rechargeable battery ASG
PRODUCT QUANTUM WOMEN’S
Fits like a glove but for your foot! A slip-lasted upper built
provides form-fitting fit that sculpts the contours of your feet.
Midsole of the shoe absorbs shock from the ground to make a
rocky trail feel as smooth as flat ground.
Well cushioned, well designed and the ultimate trail shoe
Wolverine’s Fulcrum ICS
Mid-Cut Off-Road Gore-Tex
Hiker shoe (that’s mouthful)
has a long name, and an
even longer life as you trek
through harsh terrain.
Outsole grips cling to
while the waterproof
full-grain leather upper and Gore-Tex membrane are guaranteed
to keep your feet dry
Ideal for long hikes with heavy gear
PRODUCT HYDRA PRO GLOVE
Look for these new gloves
in Mountain Hardwear’s Fall
2012 line. A flexible soft shell
glove made for alpine climb-
ing; Q.Shield works as a
repellant to the fabric pre-
vents water from soaking in.
Extremely waterproof and
totally windproof, to keep hands warmer
Fleece lining, goatskin leather palm and nylon fabric softshell
PRODUCT CARBONLITE PRO TREKKING POLES
The Carbonlite Pro trekking poles are ultra-light and great for
Made of carbon and aircraft grade 7075 aluminum, equipped
with cork grips, an anti-shock absorption system, removable
hiking baskets, rubber boot tips and carbide tips for traction
Help your body by giving it the extra support it needs to keep
PRODUCT RADLER TRAIL CAMP SHOE
This lightweight, unisex shoe is easily packable and won’t
take up space or weigh down your pack—just zip it up so it’s
compact, and you’re ready to continue on the trail.
Fleece-lined and made of 42% recycled rubber outsoles for
Available in five colors
BY ABE ELIAS
The 7 Most Important Survival Skills
You Must Have
It only happens in the movies … at least you thought.
Your heart races uncontrollably, adrenaline surges through
your body and sweat pours down your face … all because of the
sudden realization that you’re lost. In the span of a few hours,
you have gone from an outdoor adventure to a survival situation.
Will you live or will you die?
Every year people venture into the wilderness to enjoy Mother
Nature, and every year some of them will run into trouble. The
consequences can be death … unless the necessary precautions
are taken. And that means go equipped with the following seven
Planning: Make it your No. 1 priority.
Regardless of the duration of the trip or the location, make a
plan. There is an old saying about the five Ps that always rings
true: Proper planning prevents poor performance.
Should something happen to one of them, provide your trip
agenda to more than one person. Remember, you can’t be lost if
no one knows you’re missing. Your trip agenda should have a list
of travelers, intended destination, travel route, departure and
return times, the number of vehicles (including colors) and
license plates. Every detail will
serve as a tool to help officials find
you, if need be.
By all means, don’t vary from
the plans. Sure, it is great to be
easy-going and flexible, but it’s not
so great to be a statistic.
2 FIRST AID
Let’s face it … accidents happen.
A gash from a sharp rock while walking to the river’s edge, or
a stumble on a slippery slope resulting in a broken arm. Even a
simple blister can ruin a perfectly good outing.
First Aid is an essential skill in the wilderness, and it is easy
enough to pick up. Look for various credible sources that teach
courses in first aid. This is one skill everyone should have in his
Let’s talk navigation.
A GPS is great, but you should always have a back-up
navigational tool. Every wilderness traveler should learn the
THE 7 ESSENTIALS
• First Aid
Your best source of fire-
starting material will come
from dead trees. Trees that
have blown down and that
are propped off the ground
often have dry wood inside.
If you have the means, you
can access it. Also, look for
dead branches from the
bottom rungs of tall pine
and spruce trees. Birch bark
or shavings from the inside
of cedar bark are also fuel
It’s best to carry two
ways to start a fire on you—
at all times—and of those
should be a firesteel
because it is an excellent
method for making fire. It doesn’t hurt to keep some sort of fire
starter on you like cotton balls soaked in petroleum jelly or a
magnesium block, too.
Once your fire is happening, keep it midsized. Keeping it
burning brightly and warm allows you to stay close and benefit
from the heat, and that is more fuel efficient than a raging fire.
Raging fires provide little benefit outside of entertainment or
In adverse conditions, shelter can make the
difference between living and dying, so let’s
cover the basics.
Keep it simple. Look at it in terms of how
long it takes to build and how hot and sweaty
you will get doing it. Some primitive shelters
take a lot of work and require large amounts
of material. Do your
advance. If you
need to build
ance the need
for that shelter
Then go with what works.
Keep in mind that shelters are built to
protect you from the elements and conserve
art of map and compass reading, just like the old days. These
tools may be old, but they work and are reliable.
If you’re unfamiliar or need to brush off some of the rust of
map reading, there are plenty of good resources. Books and DVDs
are that explain navigation are available. Another option is to join
an orienteering club.
Now, imagine yourself in the wilderness. When you realize
you are lost, stop wondering around. Getting even more off
course never helps. Sit down, collect yourself and don’t move
until you get your bearings.
Next, break out the map.
If you still don’t have a good fix, don’t move! Search and
rescue personnel can find you easier if you aren’t outrunning
them. If you have to move or choose to, do not necessarily follow
a river … because they do not always lead to civilization. That is
a common mistake people make. Make sure the river is on your
map and be positive that it leads somewhere.
Obviously, shooting for a highway is best, but hydro lines and
rail ways were built for commerce; therefore, they will lead to
the people who pay for the services. That’s a whole lot better
than trekking river banks.
Let’s clear the air about something. There is no shame in
using a lighter. We’re talking life or death here, remember.
Many authors talk about traditional ways to start a fire, and
they are all good. If I had to recommend
one, I would suggest the bow-and-drill
method. Some say if you learn to make
a friction fire, you will never forget
your matches. For that reason alone, it
is worth trying it once.
Next, go to the dead to help the
“In matter of a few hours, you have gone from
an outdoor adventure to a survival
situation. Will you live or will you die?”
YOUR TRIP AGENDA
Leave a trip agenda with more then one person, and
make sure it contains the following information:
• A list of travelers
• Departure, arrival and return times
• Travel route
• The number of vehicles (including colors) and
Every trip must
begin with an
heat. It is easier to huddle in a small shelter than it is to build
and stay warm in a large one. Keep shelters low and small and
insulate yourself from the ground.
If you are combining a shelter with a fire for warmth, the
fire is more effective if you can expose your whole body to it. A
shelter that allows you to lay parallel to the fire is best.
6 EMERGENCY SIGNALING
Emergency signaling is often taken for granted, and that is a
If you want to be found, it is best to make it easy for those
who are looking. There are two forms of signaling: audible and
visual. Carry both types on you at all times and learn how to use
Whistles are a standard signaling device, and they are
inexpensive and light to carry. Stash a couple in your gear and
always carry one with you.
A signaling mirror is the most common visual signaling tool.
With the advent of LEDs, you can purchase affordable
strobes too. I recommend carrying at least one
mirror. As a rule, I never skimp on survival gear,
which means purchase a good mirror and leave
the used CDs at home. As the search and rescue
plane passes over head and misses your signal,
that is no time to question the $5 dollars
you saved using an old CD.
Other methods include a smoky
firearm, bright colored items such as
an orange garbage bag or clothing.
en a bright bandana will do. A smoky fire
ill work, but remember to keep it under
ntrol. To get a smoky fire going, simply
dd damp vegetation to your fire like wet
aves or spruce/pine bows. The column of
moke will send a clear signal.
Always use audible and visual signals
gether. It is easier for people to see your
when they are looking for you, of course. In
the case of an emergency, you might be signaling when someone
is not searching for you, so take every measure possible to get
In any emergency situation, equipment is a bonus. In any
emergency situation, a well-working mind is a necessity.
To help maintain composure, pay attention to your breathing.
Keeping it under control will help keep you stay calm and
focused on what’s important.
Don’t panic over things like food unless you have a specific
medical condition like hypoglycemia or diabetes. The average
North American can go some time on only their reserves.
It is important to be prepared for the challenge of wilderness
adventure. Having these seven basic skills is a good start. Leave
nothing to chance and prepare yourself in order to enjoy your
time out there in the woods.
Basic survival skills … don’t leave home without them. ASG
Abe Elias has been teaching wilderness trip planning since
1993. He is certified by the Ontario Recreational Canoe Association.
For more information, go to www.dskw.ca or
THE BASICS OF A FIRESTEEL
• By scraping a FireSteel, a shower of white hot
(5,500°F) sparks spew forth.
• The sparks will start your fire even in adverse
• A mirror
• A strobes
• A smoky firearm
• Bright-colored items such as
an orange garbage bag or
• Smoky fires
Dead trees are
a great source
PHOTO COURTESY OF
JOHNSON OUTDOORS INC.
other Nature doesn’t take
And that means she may displace
you at any time, place or season, which
is exactly why you need to be prepared
with the most rugged, badass sleeping
bags and tents on the planet.
So, if you’ve got no place to stay
and the temperature heads south of
zero or you find yourself on the hard
ground until the floodwaters subside,
Literally and figuratively.
The Best Comfort,
Sleeping Bags, Tents
ADVENTURE MEDICAL KITS
PRODUCT SOL EMERGENCY BIVVY
It’s only 3.8 ounces! This pocket-sized SOL Emergency Bivvy
is your backup against the unexpected.
It’s available in an
ultralight stuff sack, can
be used repeatedly and it’s
made from rip-resistant
heatsheets to reflect 90
percent of our body heat.
Durable, repairable and
will give you the comfort
of extra warmth
PRODUCT GROUSE MOUNTAIN
MSRP $259.95 TO $279.95
600-fill goose down for optimized
A half pad sleeve allows for attach-
ment to the pad, with wiggle room for
Mummy shape decreases weight and
packed size; cotton storage sack and
nylon stuff sack included
Built-in pillow pocket holds a fleece
or Big Agnes pillow
ADVENTURE MEDICAL KITS
PRODUCT SOL THERMAL BIVVY
Waterproof, windproof and built for survival! This bivvy
reflects up to 80 percent of your radiated body heat back to you!
The metalized non-woven fabric provides protection
against the elements and reflects heat, weighing
only 9.1 ounces.
It’s built to last through snowy conditions and is
AMK’s top-selling item.
PRODUCT EMERGENCY BAG
MSRP $3.99 AND UP
Provides shelter against wind and
rain while retaining body heat to keep
Prevents or treats hypothermia
Comes in a compact box, readily
available for emergencies
PRODUCT DREAMLITE 500
The affordable Dreamlite 500 has a Polydown
soft Polyester fiber fill, lined with soft-nylon
Lightweight (1 lb. 5 oz.) and packs down
super small; great for a summer sleeping
bag that’s not too bulky and hot—even
use it as a sleeping bag liner for winter.
For the extra tall, Dreamlite is also
available in long
EDDIE BAUER FIRST ASCENT
PRODUCT SNOWLINE +20° DOWN SLEEPING BAG
600-fill premium European goose down
40-ounce denier ripstop nylon shell, raised footbox for com-
fort, YKK zippers for smooth closure
3-season mummy bag with down insulation—ideal for drier
conditions; nylon stuff sack and cotton storage bag
PRODUCT EMERGENCY BAG
This emergency sleeping bag is pocket-sized, handy and
Keep it in the glove compartment of your car, a backpack or
Designed to reflect
80 percent of radiated
body heat for warmth
and dryness; use as a
sleeping bag, ground
cover or radar reflector
PRODUCT WOMEN’S CASPER 15°F
Features Rteq insulation that is a blend of four unique poly-
ester fibers for denier, loft, weight and thermal efficiency
The Women’s Casper is the anatomical shape that fits the
female form—4 inches shorter and 2 narrower than the regular
Casper, while generously cut at the hip level
Has the feel of
tube runs the length
of the zipper to hold in warmth
PRODUCT COROMELL 0
550-fill power down, 40D nylon ripstop
and 50D polyester micro-pongee liner
This bag features a removable hood and
other extras like sleeping bag security loops,
slant-baffle construction, Cheveron stitching,
two-way locking blanket zipper, hang loops
for storage and zippered chest pocket
Unzip the hood in warmer weather
Can be fully unzipped and opened to use
as a flat blanket
PRODUCT MTN SPEED 32
Insulated 850-fill down provides outstanding warmth
Max warmth, with minimal weight—15.7 ounces!
Five chamber hood design maintains even loft around head
for consistent warmth
Insulated draft tube with anti-snag panel prevents cold spots
along the zipper line
PRODUCT WOMEN’S ELEANOR 30
600-fill down for light weight and warmth
Stays drier seven times longer than
untreaten down, retains 34 percent more loft
than untreated down exposed to moisture, dries
33 percent faster than untreated down
Revolutionary DriDown technology for a
SEA TO SUMMIT
PRODUCT TRAVERSE SERIES
MSRP $479 TO $569
850+ loft European goose down and
protected with 3D NanoShell technology for
water repellency and condensation management
Prepared for winter camping in subzero
Relaxed mummy shape cut larger on the hood,
broader on the shoulders and at the chest for
PRODUCT LONE PINE 20
Fleece-lined hood, two-layer construction
adds warmth and prevents cold spots
Flip-over hood allows user to flip the hood
inside out for flatness or shape
Anti-snag zipper protection; draft tube along
zipper for heat loss prevention; extra foot space
for comfort, without the bulky weight (29
PRODUCT JAGGED PEAK
MSRP $299.99 TO $349.99
Easy entry and ventilation with two doors covered by mesh windows
Two vestibules for gear storage and extra weather protection
Easy assembly with pole clips that quickly snap over tent poles
PRODUCT FLY CREEK 2 PLATINUM
Three season, freestanding and ultra light
Packed weight is only 2 pounds, 3
Made of breathable rip-
stop nylon and polyester
Sparse, fast and
just like you
PRODUCT SKYLIGHT TENT
Part of the Superlight Series, capable for three seasons
with a hybrid single/double-wall construction; the tent’s front
has a mesh inner wall for
is about 5
PRODUCT ZEUS 2 CLASSIC
Light and large, this innovative design is
for the solo traveler but can expand to
accommodate two campers
Minimum weight is 3
pounds 14 ounces
Aluminum frame, easy
set up, high and low
venting door vents for
PRODUCT EUREKA SOLITAIRE
Eureka’s most compact solo tent, for perennial backpackers
Minimum weight of 2 pounds 9 ounces
Durable 6.3 mm of fiberglass frame, nylon pole sleeves aid
in set up and stability, has two storage pockets and one flash-
EDDIE BAUER FIRST ASCENT
PRODUCT KATABATIC TENT
A four-season expedition tent with double-wall construction for
condensation control, two-vestibule design for space and storage,
steep walls for maximized floor space and a 6-pocket interior orga-
nizer for your gear
Made of 40D rip-stop nylon, polyester and aluminum poles
PRODUCT PARTHENON 4
Equipped for three seasons, with a capacity of four people
The freestanding design means easy set up, with more
than 61 feet of floor space
Great for a comfy night’s sleep with the whole family under
A double track door unzips to create a full awning that pro-
vides protection from the sun or rain when sitting outside
PRODUCT POLAR TUNNEL 4
Four person, four season tent
The low-to-the-ground design is built to withstand strong
polar gusts of wind, while also being weatherproof
Built to house a team of four intrepid winter adventurers,
with plenty of space, air vents and hanging pockets ASG
PRODUCT SHANGRI-LA 3 TENT
This tent for three weighs in at only 4 pounds 5 ounces
Combining the Flysheet and Nest, the versatile Shangri-La
is light, has two larger peak vents, high internal gear loops
for clothes lines and hanging items
Pitches with 4 stakes, packaged with 8
Mesh is designed to keep bugs out, but let air flow in for
PRODUCT SUPERMEGA UL 2 IN TREE
Mountain Hardwear’s lightest two person backpacking tent
for three seasons, weighing in at just more than two pounds
Designed for going fast and light without compromising in
protection, strength or storage space
Watertight construction with fully taped fly, vestibule for
added storage and convenience
Tips for Crisis Survival
COOL under fire.
It’s an expression used in the sports world that refers to the
composure and unparalleled performance elite athletes show
when the game is on the line. Pressure and adversity bend and
ultimately break a normal athlete, but the elite player remains
focused and rises above the rest.
In our everyday world, we could face adversity at any time …
whether that’s a flood, hurricane, some other disaster or civil
And that’s exactly why you need to be prepared. With training.
With mental tenacity. With a plan. You’ll find these tips in the
Don’t be normal. Be among the elite.
The American Survival Guide. Because chaos happens. ASG
BY DR. THOMAS J. NARDI
The Key To Surviving
Any Traumatic Incident
Is a Positive Attitude
She paused momentarily, wiped her cheeks without looking
up and then continued.
At the age of 18, she told me she left her parents’ home to get
married. Now, 23 years later, she was alone with two children.
Her husband had suddenly and unexpectedly decided he no
longer wanted to be married. He left her and moved in with his
“I've always had someone to take care of me,” she sobbed. “My
husband took care of the money, the car, the bills, everything. I feel
helpless and scared.”
The year was 1978. Disco was the rage in music, and this
woman was my patient.
Why do I mention disco?
As I worked with her, Gloria Gaynor’s song “I Will Survive”
became a crucial part of the counseling I provided because my
patient could identify with the lyrics. In fact, she felt like the song
was written for her in her time of need, which is exactly why she
bought the record and played it over and over. She even wrote
the lyrics down and carried them around with her as a reminder
that she, too “will survive.”
By playing the song repeatedly, my patient kept giving herself
positive messages. Before adopting the song as her personal
anthem, her messages to herself were negative. In effect, she
kept telling herself she would not survive and that she “could
never live” without her husband “by my side.”
As we continued with the counseling, she “grew strong and
learned how to get along.”
Giving herself positive affirmations, repeatedly throughout
the day, helped her stay positive while displacing the negative
messages. Although she did not know it, the survival messages
she gave herself were the same used by elite military forces.
They are also the ones that many cops and firefighters learn to
tell themselves to ensure their own safety.
This technique can also help you, especially during a natural
disaster or some other traumatic event.
“The single most important aspect of
surviving any crisis—whether a powerful
devastating hurricane, a terrorist attack or a family
tragedy—lies in your mind.”
—Thomas J. Nardi, psychologist
WHAT ARE YOU TELLING YOURSELF?
When a crisis hits, the first reaction is denial. Our mind
shouts, “Oh, no. This can’t be.”
But we quickly realize that it not only can be, but it is happening.
What you tell yourself next is crucial. If you tell yourself, “I can't
handle this, I’ll never survive,” you will likely give up. You have
created what is considered a self-fulfilling prophecy. And, in
time of severe disasters, giving up equates to dying.
Your very survival depends upon believing you not only can
survive, but that you will survive. The single most important
aspect of surviving any crisis—whether a devastating hurricane,
a terrorist attack or a family tragedy—lies in your mind. More
specifically, your ability to react, survive and overcome any crisis
depends upon your mindset … the messages you give yourself.
“But I don’t know for sure that I will survive,” you may be
THE ABC’S OF EMOTION
Dr. Albert Ellis, the late psychologist and founder of Rational Emotive Behavior
Therapy, formulated a simple model to explain emotions.
According to Dr. Ellis, we start with an A. In terms of survival, the A stands for
Adversity. Some Adversity has occurred, be it an earthquake, major blizzard or
As a result we experience C, a Consequence.
The Consequence may be fear, anxiety, depression or some other negative
emotions. Some people may think that the A caused the C. Ellis disagrees. He
argued that the C is caused by our self-talk. Our self-talk is what we tell ourselves
about the A. The self-talk takes place at B, our Beliefs about the Adversity.
We cannot change the Adversity, but we can change the emotional Consequence.
To do so we need to be aware of the B. Identify the messages you are giving
yourself, because they are creating the negative emotions. Dispute and challenge
the negative thoughts. Replace them with more realistic positive and hopeful
ones. The result will be a change—for the better—in how you feel and how
“Mentally rehearsing your plan of
action and your self-talk can be a sort
of psychological fire drill to prepare
you for the real thing.”
—Thomas J. Nardi, psychologist
True, you don’t know for sure that you will
survive, but, you don’t know for sure that you
won’t. So, you have a choice: believe you will or
believe you won’t survive.
As Thomas Ford once observed: “If you
think you can or if you think you can’t, you are
Be aware of your thoughts. Your thoughts are
the messages, or self-talk, that determine your
emotions and your behavior.
Another helpful strategy for developing a
survival mindset is to use mental rehearsal.
When you read or see reports of disasters in
other areas, think about how you would react.
Mentally rehearse what you would do in the
same situation. Think about specific actions you
would take in dealing with the crisis.
Also think about how you could be better
prepared to cope. For instance, do you keep
supplies of batteries, flashlights, First Aid kits,
non-perishable food, etc.? If not, consider doing so.
Mentally rehearse what thoughts would be
racing through your head. Identify the thoughts
that would contribute to negative feelings and
replace them with positive messages. Mentally
rehearsing your plan of action and your self-talk
can be a sort of psychological fire drill to prepare
you for the real thing.
WHERE IT BEGINS
When things seem really bad, consider a line
from the “Lord of the Rings” novel.
“If you can say, ‘This is the worst thing that
ould happen,’ it means it is not the worst thing
hat could happen.”
Remember, survival begins and ends in your
ind. Good thinking gives good results. ASG
The Writer: Thomas J. Nardi, Ph.D. is a psy-
hologist in private practice. He is also director of
he Graduate Mental Health and School Counsel-
ng programs at Long Island University Hudson
raduate Campus in Orangeburg, NY. Dr. Nardi’s
inical orientation is cognitive behavior therapy.
Facing some adversity? Some seemingly over-
whelming challenge? Replace your negative thoughts
with positive coping statements. Here are a few
• I can do this!
• I won't give up!
• It may seem rough, but I'll get through this.
• When the going gets tough, the tough get going.
• Quitters never win, and winners never quit.
THE ELEMENT OF SURPRISE
When the massive quake struck Los Angeles in 1994, there was no
warning. Just like that killer temblor, really bad things can happen at
any moment, and the severity is increased because we have little, if
any, advanced notice that they are about to occur.
In these circumstances, we often feel like we have no control over
our lives. In truth, of course, we cannot control what happens to us.
There are many things that we cannot predict or prevent.
What we can control, however, is what we tell ourselves about
what happens. The messages we give ourselves determine if we will
surrender to the disaster that has befallen us or if we will fight back
and overcome it.
As Winston Churchill once said, "Never, never, never give up.”
BY ABE ELIAS
20 Essential Items Needed for Your Car Emergency Kit
IS the end of the world just around the corner?
But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be
prepared. After all, there are enough emergencies
in today’s world … from the earthquakes that
rattle the Western states, to the tornadoes that
whip through the Midwest to the hurricane and
floods that hammer the south. And that is
exactly why it makes good sense to keep an
emergency kit in your car to help you in times of
There are two kinds of car kits. One is used for vehicle troubles
while the other is for you and any passengers in the car. In the
following story, we’ll look at some of the supplies you need, why
you need them and the strategies needed to use them.
THE VEHICLE KIT
Very few people have enough command of auto mechanics to
actually perform any major repairs at roadside. Even if they do,
they don’t have access to the parts or tools needed to make those
repairs. But that is a problem that should never happen.
So what should the contents be?
Start with a back-up liquid like water. If the car overheats,
Next, carry the tools to repair a flat tire. Every car should be
equipped with a car jack and spare tire, and it is imperative to
learn how to change a flat.
You should also have a set of jumper cables. The cables are
two colors: red for positive and black for negative. Battery
connections usually show corresponding colors and symbols
for the cables. Connect the positive
and negative cables to the corre-
sponding terminals on the “live”
car and then connect them to the
“dead” car. Then, turn on the
ignition of the dead car.
A small selection of tools is good
to have, and that
includes a multi-driver
and duct tape. Wrenches
and ratchets sets can be used to
tighten things that have come loose
as happens from time to time. The duct
tape can be used to temporarily patch broken
water hoses or cover broken windows.
Keep in mind that your life could
depend on these items so buy good
quality items and don’t substitute.
For instance, digging yourself out of a
snow bank is easier and safer with a proper shovel than it is
with a coffee can. Sure, one is free and the other isn’t, but your
life is worth a $14 collapsible shovel.
THE PEOPLE KIT
The first item you need is a good sturdy
backpack. Sure, it’s not generally recommended
that you move from the car, but the backpack
will make it easier to transport your supplies
should you have to get mobile.
Next, what should you carry? Some good
items to have are a candle lantern because it
will supply warmth and light. A headlamp is a
good source of light and it leaves your
hands free to do work.
Back-up food is good too. You
might not be out there
long, but a quick snack will
keep spirits up and provide
energy. An axe and saw can be used
THE VEHICLE KIT
Jack, spare tire Flat tire
Jumper cables Dead Battery
Multi-driver tool Repairs
Duct tape Patch broken water hoses or cover broken windows
to get your car unstuck. On occasion, I have chopped down
braches and put them under the tires to get traction.
Always carry something to signal with audibly and visually.
A whistle and your car horn are good for audible signals.
Visual items include signal mirrors and emergency help signs.
There are a couple of extras that you should have too,
including a rescue tool in the event you have to make an
emergency car exit and a safety vest so you’re visible on the
highway at night if you are working on your car.
but it’s a safe bet it won’t … for a very long time.
However, you can be assured that somewhere in the country
an emergency is going to occur, and you may be caught in your
car when that does happen. That’s why it’s important to stay
calm and stay with the vehicle, ideally in a highly visible
Then all you have to do is keep yourself safe until help comes.
And your supply kits will allow you to do that. ASG
Abe Elias has been teaching about wilderness and survival for
more than 17 years.
THE PEOPLE KIT
Backpack Carry Supplies
Candle lantern Warmth and light
Headlamp Light and leaves your hands free to do work
Backup Food Energy, lifts spirits
Axe and/or saw Cut branches that can then be used for traction
Whistle Effective audible signal
Signal mirrors Alert rescuers
Emergency help signs Alert rescuers
Rescue tool Emergency car exit
Safety vest Better visibility if you are working on
your car at night
DIG A LITTLE DEEPER
• WEB: www.dskw.ca
• WEB: www.greatlakesbushcraft.com
• E-MAIL: email@example.com
“Keep in mind that your
life could depend
on these items so buy
good quality items
and don’t substitute.”
DID YOU KNOW?
Packing a kit is not enough.
You have to remember to check
it to ensure that items like food
and batteries aren’t expired.
From the Amazon to 9/11 to New
Zealand Mountaintops, Three
Amazing Survival Stories
THE meaning of life.
It’s something survivors of horrific misfortunes are forced to
think about, knowing the likelihood that they might not live to see
another day is probable. And even after their harrowing journeys—
up Everest, through the Amazon or amidst an urban attack—it’s
still on their mind, every day, forever.
But the survivors didn’t just come out alive, they came out
stronger—mind, body and spirit. Through willpower, persistence
and an ounce of luck, they each lived to tell their heroic tales.
What can we learn from cases in which it’s one man against all
odds? You’re about to find out, as you embark on a journey
through the depths of the human soul.
BY KAREN WILHELMSEN
“I WAS PRAYING TO DIE”
Against All Odds, a Young Man Survives
20 Days Lost in the Amazon, “Finds”
Himself in the Process
Yossi Ghinsberg was alone alongside the Tuichi River … just
as he had been for the previous 19 days.
“The amount of pain and suffering was quite unimaginable,”
says Ghinsberg. “I was one big open wound that couldn’t heal
because I was completely drenched for weeks.”
During his ordeal, his clothes had torn and his skin had broken,
and each wound had become infected. He had fallen off a cliff,
saved miraculously by a branch, which punctured him, causing
agonizing pain. His feet contracted a severe fungal infection, and
there was no skin left on his feet—just two chucks of exposed
flesh oozing puss.
“I was bitten thousands of times by bees, wasps, mosquitoes,
and worst, some bugs that left larva under my skin that hatched
and were feeding on my flesh,” he says. “Famine left me nothing
but skin hanging on bones. My physical condition was horrific.
Thank God that my mental faculty somehow realized that if I lose
it there, I will be dead for sure.”
Ghinsberg remained good spirited—focused only on the
positive vision of staying alive and making it out to civilization
THE JOURNEY BEGINS
In December 1981, Ghinsberg, a native to Israel where he
was born and raised, set out as a young explorer into the Bolivian
Amazon along with friends Markus Stamm, a Swiss mystic, and
Kevin Gale, an American photographer. The three met Karl
Ruprechter in La Paz, an Austrian expatriate claiming to be a
geologist, who inspired the trip after promising to be their guide
down the Tuichi River.
After weeks wandering the Amazon, a river-rafting outing
resulted in Markus getting trench foot, a condition that occurs
when feet are exposed to unsanitary and chilly water for prolonged
periods of time. The group split up after realizing Karl wasn’t
fulfilling all he promised for the group, and that they were ill
Day 17 would bring the lowest point
on Ghinsberg’s 20 days in the Amazon.
After a huge flood forced him up into the
hills, his feet became so raw that could
no longer walk. Crawling, he tried to find
the riverbank again, for without it he was
Out of nowhere, Ghinsberg heard a
“Knowing it was searching for me, I
jumped on my feet and ran amok,
screaming my lungs out and waving my
hands in despair—the surge of hope that
it will be all over in a minute if I am
seen,” says Ghinsberg, who had gotten his
taste for exploration early when he served
for the Israeli navy.
But under the forest’s canopy, he was
invisible from above.
“It passed and disappeared, oblivious
to my agony,” he says. “That was too
much to bear. Something deep inside me
snapped. I collapsed into the mud, my
feet on fire. From the depth of my heart, I
was praying to die. I gave up on life. To
my surprise, life did not give up on me.”
It started as three friends venturing into the
heart of the Amazon, but ultimately they had to
split up to find help. With civilization nowhere
in sight, it was Yossi Ghinsberg vs. the natural
world—battling starvation, leeches, jaguars and
himself. A dream exploration into the jungle
turned into a perilous struggle to survive as one
man’s will to live was pushed to his breaking
During the 20 days, Ghinsberg’s mantra played loudly in his
“I’m a man of action,” he repeatedly told himself, which
meant no worry, no despair, no speculations, no complaints. “It
meant acceptance of the circumstances and taking the right
action. In essence, this is the secret of survival in extreme situations.
As I learned, it is also the recipe for happiness in life. A man of
action accepts reality for what it is and acts upon what the
present challenge is, not wasting time to find out why this
happened. Not complaining with a ‘why me’ attitude, not
worrying about the possible disastrous consequences, but
rather focusing on the best-desired outcome and taking the right
action toward it.”
Ghinsberg says that in any survival situation, this attitude
comes naturally, because it’s the most efficient strategy for
survival. He says the mind is quiet and doesn’t waste precious
energy on self-doubt and fear.
“All faculties are honed and directed at the task ahead—
staying alive,” he says.
Yossi’s best friend, Kevin, is the one who eventually found
him. Kevin never gave up the search, though the other two didn’t
Looking back, Ghinsberg doesn’t describe the event as tragic,
though the saddest aspect was losing two friends.
“It was never painful,” says Ghinsberg, now a motivational
speaker. “Not even days after the rescue. While in the Amazon
the experience was one of self-discovery and the discov-
ery of my spiritual connection. A sense of ela-
tion is what I felt and still feel when I
recall and recount my jungle
against-all-odds survival story.
The positive elements of this story inspire me and thousands of
others all around the world.”
Though most will never experience anything close to Ghinsberg’s
journey, he says most people put in a similar circumstance will
endure as well.
“[I want people to know] that there’s providence in life and
miracles,” he says. “I also want them to know that adversity is
part of life, yet being a victim is our choice; that we are heroes of
our life story; that having a clear purpose and being strong is the
key to dealing with tough times; that working toward a goal that
is larger than us, contributing to others and being of service is
the key to discovering our true power; that accepting reality for
what it is is the definition of sanity; that nature is our true home
and we are part of it; that the company of others is the most
precious thing in the world; that
if not for the goodness of other
we would be dead; that every
breath is precious and every
day is a blessing; if it can be
taken from us it was never
ours; that to lose everything
may mean to find yourself; that
we are here for a reason and
we better shine.”
TEN YEARS LATER
Ten years after Yossi Ghinsberg escaped death, he returned to
the same spots he ventured. He stayed for three years, making the
forest his home, its inhabitants his family.
While there, Ghinsberg built one of the most celebrated ecological
resorts on the Amazon basin called Chalalan, and it now inspires
sustainable development and eco-tourism. He also inspired the
Madidi National Park—the largest biosphere conservation belt in
“We have transformed the Madidi Valley from the hands of the
exploiters to a national reserve and the entire region from loggers,
hunters and miners,” says Ghinsberg.
FIND OUT MORE
For more on Yossi and his
incredible tale, check out his
best-selling books “Jungle” and
“Laws of the Jungle.”
You can also book him for
motivational speeches at
PHOTO COURTESY OF
He emerged from the three feet of white soot,
ashes and glass, holding the hand of an FBI agent
who just saved his life. Sujo John had no idea
what was going on. His cell phone still wasn’t
connecting, so he couldn’t call his pregnant wife,
Mary, to hear her voice on the other line, just to
know that she too was still alive.
“You never know that on any day, at any
moment, your life can change forever,” says John.
Little did he know his life would take such a
drastic turn on the morning of September 11,
on the street to find
of ashes and soot
and a graveyard of
“THROUGH THE ASHES COMES BEAUTY”
A Concrete Blizzard Over Manhattan
Sujo John worked in marketing in the North Tower of the
World Trade Center, on the 81st floor.
Sept. 11, 2001 seemed sunny and typical, at least of what
John knew since immigrating to New York from India six months
prior. Earlier in the morning his wife, Mary, who worked on the
71st floor of the South Tower, was running a few minutes late for
work out of the couple’s home in Teaneck, New Jersey.
At 8:05 a.m. John sent an e-mail to a friend, telling him of
wanting more purpose in his life, as the night before Sujo and
Mary discussed their life insurance policy, so the topic of death
had been fresh on their minds.
Forty-one minutes later, John heard a piercing explosion, and
the office rattled as the room resonated with screams. Debris flew
into the building and ignited. John saw a huge crater below and
above him of mangled metal, smoke billowing out. He knew it
was a plane, and he wondered if it had also hit the South Tower
where Mary worked. His adrenaline kicked in.
“This is real,” he thought.
John watched firemen running up the stairwells while hoards
of office workers ran the opposite direction.
“There were hundreds of firemen running up the stairways,
with fire and smoke, and it gave me such strength to know that
they stepped into danger and died trying to save others,” he
says. “It made me realize that we’re bigger than this, and that
there had to be a way out.”
As he descended down the stairs, he wondered if his wife,
never went into either building, and managed to reach 39th St.
in Manhattan, shaken by the images of people hurling themselves
out of the burning buildings.
ON LIFE AND FAITH
“Life is short,” says John, who has since quit his marketing job
and switched to motivational speaking.
“Post 9/11 there was pain and hatred, but there’s still humanity
and so much left,” he says. “It drives everything that I do with
purpose beyond my wildest dreams.”
John has since founded his own ministry and You Can Free
Us, a non-profit that rehabilitates victims of human trafficking in
safe houses in New Delhi, India. He wrote his novel “Do You
Know Where You Are Going?” and frequently travels to villages
in India, where he helps build schools.
“I’ve shared my story so many times, and any 9/11
survivor can tell you that it becomes part of your life,”
he says. “Everything changed. I think about it every
day. It’s a defining moment for our generation, and it’s
great when you change the world by sharing your
story. It’s been a launch pad.”
He wouldn’t have done any of it without faith.
“Faith has helped me reach my goals,” he says. “The
reality is you can wake up and you never know
that on any day, at any moment, your life
can change forever. It’s not about
what car you drive or what stuff
we acquire; it’s about our
relationships with one
another. You might end up
dying with money, but
what about the people in
your life? I’m not
against people having
their dream house,
but it’s not all about
the pursuit. I have
God and family
and know that
we’re put on this
earth to love and
spread hope. From
the slums of India
to the White
House, there is
all have our sto-
ries and pain, but God is
real. Through brokenness
He can change our life story
around. Through the ashes
carrying their first
child, might be alive.
John, though some-
what confused about
what was happening,
knew that every medi
outlet must have been covering the story already, and he didn’t
want his parents worrying—glued to their TV in India seeing such
horrific images. They had already dealt with the loss of one of
their children, John’s sister, who passed at a young age. He
wouldn’t let his parents deal with that again. He knew some-
thing was inflicted upon America; that someone was attacking.
He would not let the enemy win.
FOLLOWING THE LIGHT
“At a time like that, the most important thing is
faith—it’s all you can lean on,” says John. “It gave
me the strength while the building was collapsing.
But, we all have our stories, and some might be
going through something worse right now or
On the 53rd floor he took a break to make a
phone call, but the landlines were dead. Going
toward the exits facing the South Tower, John
attempted to get a glimpse of the building. It was then
another explosion shook the earth. The South Tower
John emerged on the street to find three feet
of ashes and soot and a graveyard of dead
bodies littering the ground. A man with an
FBI jacket and flashlight helped him, and he
told John to follow the light in the distance
coming from an ambulance.
Huge boulders and rubble pummeled
around him, people bunched up on one
side of the building, prayed and cried,
“It was like a blizzard, one caused by
all the concrete and ash that had been
stirred up into the atmosphere,” John
wrote, on the events of that day.
THROUGH THE ASHES
Around noon, John’s cell phone finally
linked to Mary’s.
“Babe, are you alive?” she said.
“It was the most amazing experience,”
says John, on hearing his wife’s voice. “We
both didn’t know if the other was dead. It’s
amazing how close we came to death.”
Mary had been running a little late for work, and
her train reached the World Trade Center subway
stop five minutes after the first building was hit. She
PHOTO COURTESY OF SUJO JOHN
MAKE A DIFFERENCE
To donate to the anti-trafficking move-
ment, visit www.youcanfree.us or for more
on Sujo John, visit www.sujojohn.com.
ABOVE THE HIGHEST PEAK
A Climber Loses His Legs, Gets the Opportunity To
“Live Life in a New and Different Way”
Mark Inglis found himself in what he calls a “very unique
As a search and rescue (SAR) team leader for Aoraki/Mount
Cook National Park, he and Philip Doole were on a routine
training climb in New Zealand. But this expedition turned out to
be anything but routine. A severe blizzard trapped them on a
mountain for 13 days.
“Most of the time [during the 13 days] we were constantly
thinking about our decisions, our options and continually
assessing the situation,” says Inglis. “Much of the time we wor-
ried that someone, one of our SAR team members, would get
hurt or killed trying to get to us. We survived through knowl-
edge and faith—faith that our team would never stop until they
To battle the onslaught, the men built a shelter, a snow cave
later dubbed “Middle Peak Hotel,” and they waited for the storm
to pass, hoping their search and rescue peers would find them
soon, as their supply of food and water was running low.
Because the men knew their job was dangerous, they were
mentally prepared for hardship.
“Initially, we thought we would lose toes … occupational
hazard!” says Inglis, with a sense of humor about the situation.
“It became clear it would be our legs as it was a gradual process.
We had time to understand the inevitability of it.”
By the time Christmas Eve rolled around, Inglis and Doole
wanted their limbs cut off just below the knees so they could
move on and start rehabilitating their new lives.
“It’s not so positive when you wake up on Christmas day to
truly understand there is no going back—a very tough few days,”
says Inglis, who was 23 at the time. “I always say the best person
to lose his legs is a young mountaineer. He is an intensely proactive
person, just to be a climber; he has been in life-threatening
situations that only work out through his competence. Take that
attitude along in life, and you see the double amputation for what
it truly is: just an opportunity to live life in a new and different
way. Not easier, but just different.”
3 MONTHS LATER
Within three months, Inglis was back on the mountains,
though he grew frustrated that he couldn’t climb like he once
did. After several years of trying with discouraging results, he
ventured into other pursuits—skiing, cycling, his career as a
scientist and winemaking.
“It is frustrating that things never go fast enough, but a great
lesson in understanding and accepting challenging change—
change that you can make,” he says. “But, it’s equally important
how you adapt to change that you have no apparent control over.
I just had my legs cut off, not my intellect or soul. I’m the same
person with new ways to express myself.”
It would take years before he felt the need to conquer
“It wasn’t until many years later I felt confident enough to
climb again,” he says. “I don’t want people helping. In the
mountains it is essential you are totally personally responsible.
Don’t expect a hand up.”
On Sept. 27, 2004 Inglis climbed Cho Oyu, the sixth highest
peak in the world. But that was just the appetizer to the main
course. On May 15, 2006 Inglis accomplished his lifelong goal
of climbing Everest—as the world’s first double amputee to do
so. As an added bonus, the climb raised tens of thousands for
METAPHOR FOR LIFE
What are some of the things to take away from Inglis’s
“Challenge is the essence of life,” says Inglis, who donates
prosthetics to Tibetan Sherpas who lost limbs to frostbite.
“Always dream big, but most importantly, take the first step to
that dream. I believe in ‘responsible optimism.’ That is, just think
positive thoughts, but do something about making them become
Inglis continues to spread his knowledge of wealth as a
motivational speaker and is the founding trustee of Limbs4All,
which gives prosthetic limbs to disable people around the
“My talks are based around mountaineering as a metaphor
for life and business,” he says. “My corporate life dovetails
into my mountaineering life and my life as a double amputee.
I always ask, ‘Which Mark do you want? Business, mountaineer,
cyclist, amputee, scientist?’ Well actually, you get all of them!”
Mark Inglis is a double amputee, but more
importantly he’s a mountaineer, a scientist who
studies human biochemistry, a winemaker, a
cyclist who competed in the 2000 Paralympic
Games, an author and motivational speaker first.
He once had the dream to climb Mt. Everest …
and losing his legs did nothing to hinder him from
achieving his goal. Inglis’ story is nothing short of
inspiring—and even inspired him to write five
novels, including “No Mean Feat” and “Legs on
Everest.” His tale takes place atop New Zealand’s
“Initially we thought
we would lose toes
… it became clear it
would be our legs.
We had time to
inevitability of it.”
SHARE THE WEALTH
• There are more than 400 million disabled
people in the world, and millions who can’t
afford prosthetic limbs. To donate to the cause
or to shepherd Inglis’s charity, visit the
Limbs4All Web site, www.limbs4all.com.
• For more on Mark and his books (“Off the
Front Foot,” “Too the Max,” “No Mean Feat,”
“High Tech Legs On Everest” and “Legs On
Everest”) visit his Web site at
HAM OMELETS WITH SCONES OR BISCUITS
1 teaspoon clarified butter (or oil)
1/2 cup freeze-dried ham
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup scrambled egg mix
1/4 cup freeze-dried cheddar cheese (optional)
2/3 cup warm water
3 tablespoons milk (made from reconstituting dehydrated milk)
Scone mix or buttermilk biscuit mix
Combine boiling water and freeze-dried ham and let sit for five to 10
minutes to allow to reconstitute. Meanwhile, stir together the egg mixture
and the warm water and mix until smooth. Add milk and stir. Drain excess
water off of the reconstituted ham, and add ham to the egg mixture. Stir
well until blended.
Heat a heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat and coat with oil or
clarified butter. Add the egg mixture to the hot pan and let the eggs cook
without stirring for a minute or so, until the bottom layer begins to set.
Using a heat-resistant spatula, push on one side of the eggs while tilting
the pan; allow liquid eggs at the top to flow underneath the cooking eggs.
Flip the entire omelet over and cook for about
one minute. Fold in half and serve with scones or
biscuits. Serves two. Also, if you don’t want to flip
the omelet, it can be folded and the heat will
finish cooking the eggs. ASG
BY TORREY KIM
Get A Jump Start on Your Survival Pantry
hether a disaster catches you off-guard with an empty
pantry or you simply aren’t up to the task of growing
your own food, you might want to let someone else do the
work of stocking your cupboards.
If you do decide to invest in a pre-stocked food kit, part of the
work of food preparation has been done for you—but you aren’t
ready to set the table just yet. Even dried and reconstituted foods
require some finesse to make into complete meals. For a jump
start on creating a family meal using some common ingredients,
check out this recipe.
THE STARTER KIT
The recipe here can be made with ingredients from the American
Survival Guide Food Starter Kit, which includes enough cuisine to feed
two people for 30 days. Stocked with a variety of both entrees (such
as Pasta Primavera and Fettuccini Alfredo) and simple ingredients that
can serve as springboards for your favorite recipes (such as stew veg-
etables and sausage crumbles), you’ll have no shortage of nutrition. The
kit is available for $499.99 (a $650 value) at www.beprepared.com.
Ideal for the
Creative, Practical Gear that Can Get
You Out of a Sticky Situation
Creative minds churn out amazing products. Like the items in this section.
From calling for help to taking a shower in the great outdoors to finding your
way home, these miscellaneous tools do it all.
Make sure they are in your bug-out bag.
PRODUCT AMERICAN RED CROSS ROVER
Hand turbine te
powered by hand c
cranking powers y
for a 30-second ca
Compatible to c
phones and USB d
3 LED flashlight
• Auto Indexing
• Uses 7/8” x 14 Dies
• 800-1000 Rounds/Hour
• Interchangeable Toolhead
• Auto Powder Measure
• Auto Primer System
• Lifetime Warranty
Serious About Survival?
VlslI our webslIe
for free caIalog #j96-14690
PRODUCT BEAR GRYLLS SCOUT ESSENTIALS KIT
This handy-dandy kit includes: waterproof matches, compact
scout knife, Bear’s “Priorities of Survival” guide, First Aid supplies,
an LED light and a button compass
The polypropylene case even doubles as a water capturing
ounces of addi-
tional weight in
SEA TO SUMMIT
PRODUCT POCKET SHOWER
Weighs only 4.25 ounces
and measures 3 by 6
inches—taking up little
space in your pack
Contoured shower head
with graduated apertures for
Flow adjustment, 20-foot
cord included and can also
be used as a regular dry
sack to transport
PRODUCT SPORTSMAN’S TOOL 625L
Four great tools
in one! (compass,
and safety whistle)
On a lanyard
for easy use
PRODUCT THE POCKET CHAINSAW
MSRP VARIES UPON RETAILER
Includes the saw,
hook, handles and
Made of durable,
coated so it won’t
PRODUCT VICTORY HT
MSRP $2,444 TO $2,499
High-end binoculars that achieve nearly 95% light transmission
for longer usage in lower light conditions
High-transmission glass and multi-layer coating
Protection on knob for durability; coating sheds water, dirt and
fingerprints can be wiped away with ease ASG
BY KAREN WILHELMSEN
PHOTOS COURTESY OF CODY LUNDIN
“Dual Survival’s” Cody Lundin Puts His Students
Through the Grinder, So They Learn Survival Skills
“I WANT to go beyond the bullshit gloss.”
That’s Cody Lundin’s philosophy in a nutshell—as well as “thermoregulate core body temperature” …
but more on that later.
The proclaimed “abo dude,” who is the founder, director and lead instructor of the Aboriginal Living
Skills School, takes survival seriously—it’s the man’s life. And under the reality TV persona is a man who
wants to protect people lost in a world of delusion, hyped-up by the sensationalized “survivor” craze, by
providing the correct information.
“I’m gonna be Cody because I’m a professional instructor first, TV personality second,” says Lundin.
“And that’s the way it needs to be or people die. My first allegiance is to keeping people alive.”
So gear up. His larger-than-life personality isn’t for the feint of heart, but he might just help you
remember the key to survival when you need it most.
“The military doesn’t do an online course on
becoming a sniper. You don’t do an online course
for kayaking. You get in the f#@king swimming
pool first, then the river.”
–Cody Lundin [on getting your feet wet]
• Visit: the Aboriginal
Living Skills School in rescott, Arizona
• Read: “98.6 Degrees: The Art of Keeping Your Ass Alive” and
“When All Hell Breaks Loose: Stuff You Need to Survive When
• Watch: “Dual Survival” on Discovery Channel
• Or Browse: www.codylundin.com
Cody Lundin (left)
survival skills on the
With more than 23 years of wilderness experience and two
books under his belt, Lundin certainly knows what he’s talking
But the man most known for his role on the Discovery Channel’s
“Dual Survival” has a background in wilderness well beyond his TV
familiarity (“I’m the conservative one who doesn’t take chances,” he
says, if the trademark braided, golden locks, bandana and lack of
footwear aren’t clues enough on which of the two of the show’s
stars he is). Just don’t ask him about the show—he’s never seen it.
He knows that editing tricks can make him appear to do just about
When not filming, Lundin lives in a self-reliant, unconventional
home that utilizes insulation and warmth from the sun.
“I don’t just teach this, I live it,” he says of his “simpler” exis-
His comical novels on serious methods to survive and his deal-
ings with students are in a signature Cody-fashion—profanity and
“I write like I teach in the wilderness,” he says. “Humor is a
great way to grease the wheels for students. And, imagery is every-
thing,” he says about his books, which contain memorable survival
cartoons and abide by his “Wayne’s World” way of thinking and
take on life: Party on!
But there’s nothing light about the subject matter.
The Aboriginal Living Skills School (ALSS) provides four dis-
tinctive types of courses that each highlight a different genre of
self-reliance: Modern Outdoor Survival Skills (like getting out alive
and signaling for rescue when the Jeep breaks down), Primitive
Living Skills (bushcrafting and catching fish with your bare hands),
Urban Preparedness (such as in a natural disaster scenario, starting
fire with a car battery) and Homesteading (permanent agriculture).
“I take my training very seriously, so it depends on the intention
of the person to steer them in the right direction,” says Lundin, who
KEYS FOR COLD WEATHER SURVIVAL
Your trip is set.
The wilderness is going to be beautiful, but count on it being
cold. Real cold.
You may not associate cold weather dehydration, but it can be a
“In subzero, 40-below temperatures, you can lose up to a quart
of water just by breathing,” says Lundin, adding that in modern out-
door survival situations the most common cause of death is a too
low or too high body temperature (hypothermia or hyperthermia).
Therefore, the following items are key for your survival, says
• Appropriate clothing (staying warm so you don’t die of
• Water (to regulate the circulatory system and prevent dehydra-
• Way to make fire (for your body temperature to stay up, disin-
• Tarp (to provide shelter and heat)
• Way to signal for rescue (could use fire, stated above)
• Candy bars/trail mix (food high in fat, proteins and carbs—
though within a 72-hour period stuck in the snow, you aren’t going
to starve, you’ll dehydrate much faster)
• Teddy bear (something for psychological comfort)
ONE THING’S CLEAR
“Thirst is never an indicator of hydration,” says Cody Lundin.
“It’s the clarity of the urine, which metabolically lets you know how
much water the body has. But, B-vitamins change the color of your
The other two factors of hydration are the volume and frequency
To learn survival skills, Cody
Lundin says clients have to
“get off their ass and get dirty.”
Cody Lundin offer
or nine-day classes.
pool first and then the river. But, you better not think you can go
So his students get that realistic flavor.
“They have picked up some hard skills wired into the body,”
he notes. “If the student learns to make fire after a crappy night’s
sleep, with no food, dehydrated, getting bit by bugs in a vast
wilderness area where they psychologically know no one can
help them and they’re alone with the group, they get much,
much more value from that experience.”
It’s Cody’s emersion training—isolated, hardcore, scary at
times, leaving you dragging yourself through the dirt slightly
bloody—that’s effective. Though you might shed a tear, at the end
of it, you’ll be ready for much worse.
And remember the wilderness is not a controlled environment.
“That’s why she’s the boss,” he says. “If you give up, you die,”
Lundin designed ALSS’s courses based on what he knows
about the land. He can turn a three-mile hike into a walk from
hell, playing with factors like: a lack of gear, no sleep the night
before, limited water, no food or being in a horsefly infested
And trust him, he will push your buttons to beat you down
mentally. Tweak those variables in high temperatures and
humidity, and you got a kickass course. Compliments of Cody
The Writer: Karen Wilhelmsen is a contributor to several
Beckett Media publications.
trains in one-hour lectures,
weekend courses or nine-day
classes, depending on a client’s
For modern survival, the
keys to staying alive are water,
signaling for help, shelter—
which could be in the form of
clothing—and fire. All of these
relate to one thing: your tempera
“The biggest killer in the outdoors is people dying of lack of
thermoregulation—hypothermia, or low core body temperature,
and hyperthermia, high body temperature,” says Lundin.
So, if sweating and beating the sweltering heat of the desert
is what you had in mind, try the Arizona Combo special—a seven-
day extended survival course through three distinct bioregions.
Travel through the Sonoran desert, woodlands and forest, feeling
like you went from Mexico to Canada. Warning: sweating,
vomiting from heat, getting hit by hail or harsh weather and
maximizing thermoregulation included.
All jokes aside, Lundin discourages people from enrolling in
traditional survival schools that don’t provide a realistic scenario.
This is because when you’re scared, that won’t cut it.
“Your motor skills go to hell when you’re under low level
anxiety or fear,” he says.
Lundin, who teaches most of ALSS’s courses, has around 12
students per trip, with a class limit of 10 for rigorous journeys
like that of the Desert Drifter—so you’ll be sure to get your hands
dirty with Cody. And that’s important to gain any competency in
“You can get some education by a video, TV or book, but if
you don’t get off your ass and get dirty, how can you expect to
get anywhere when you’re really scared?” he says. “The military
doesn’t do an online course on becoming a sniper. You don’t do
an online course for kayaking. You get in the f#@king swimming
HEAT IS GOLDEN
Following are ways to pro-
duce heat for the body:
• Make fire
• Eat calorie-rich foods
• Exercise (at the expense of
oversees a group of
BY CODY LUNDIN
PHOTOS COURTESY OF CODY LUNDIN
15 Tips on How to Find
the Right Survival Instructor
urvival training is an investment of your time and money, and effective
instruction will save you both.
Many so-called “survival instructors” exist on the Internet and elsewhere. While some
have good intentions, others simply see an opportunity for extra income due to the
increasing popularity of survival training. It’s important that you choose your instructor(s)
The advice you take dealing with the safety and lives of you and your loved ones
should come from a very knowledgeable source. After all, you’re learning skills that
could save your life—not buying a toaster oven. Regardless of an outdoor school’s
longevity, size, media appeal, number of YouTube videos, or fancy Web site, the number-
one variable into the quality of their program is the quality of its instructor(s).
The following tips will help you choose a good instructor whether you’re looking for
skills in outdoor survival, primitive living or urban preparedness.
1 INSTRUCTOR’S RESUME
If your would-be instructor claims to
have many years of survival experience,
yet does not have a resume proving so,
this should be your first red flag. Profes-
sional people have professional resumes,
especially when their profession deals
with life-and-death training.
2 BEWARE THE HOBBYIST
Ask if the instructor has been teaching
survival skills continuously during his
self-proclaimed years of operation.
Interpreting and promoting years of
ones sporadic hobby or wishful thinking
as “experience” on a professional
resume or Web site is fraudulent at best.
To confirm an instructor’s honesty
about the length of his school’s operation,
look at the dates of their media portfolio.
If he claims his school is 20 years old, but
all of the newspaper and magazine clippings
are five years old or less, he’s likely
exaggerating his years of operation and
IS NOT PUBLISHED
If your potential instructor has a book,
it will give you an overview of how he
teaches and what he knows about a
given subject. If the information seems
weak, and/or the book itself is really a
“booklet” of 50 or 60 pages, reconsider
the last few sentences. Self-published
books by vanity or homegrown presses
are NOT written by published authors.
4 TRAIN WITH A
Would you feel comfortable seeing a
physician who practiced medicine three
months out of the year? Large schools with
dozens of instructors have the impossible
task of attempting to keep them employed
full time. Finding year-round work in this
business can be challenging, so locating
an instructor that fits this category will tell
you something about him. He is either very
good, very lucky, both or someone else is
paying the bills.
“ … self-made videos,
blogs, You Tube
e-courses and Web
sites abound, and …
it doesn’t take long
before someone with
a couple years of
the internet darling
5 FIND AN INSTRUCTOR WHO
LIVES WHAT HE TEACHES
While this trait is rarer than hen’s teeth, it does exist.
Whether you wish to learn outdoor survival, primitive living, home
preparedness or other forms of doing more with less, they all have one
thing in common … self-reliance.
Ask your instructor about his or her lifestyle. Would you call it self-
reliant? An outdoor survival instructor who lives in a city or town will have
less daily outdoor experience than one who lives in a rural setting. If you
have the opportunity to see your potential instructor in person, look at his
hands, feet and face. Any calluses or tan lines? Any signs of bodily use other
than typing, selling survival gear online, or surfing survival forums?
Self-reliant skills can be very physical and one who practices them on a
routine basis will show the signs, just like all native peoples did for
thousands of years.
6 IF YOUR INTEREST IS PRIMITIVE LIVING SKILLS,
TRAIN WITH SOMEONE WHO LIVES IN YOUR REGION
He will be the most familiar with your local flora and fauna. Learning to
harvest cactus fruit from an Inuit is sketchy at best. If quality concerns you,
the longer dedicated instructors have lived within the geographic areas they
teach, the greater experience they’ll be able to pass on to you.
7 THE INSTRUCTOR’S BACKGROUND
Is your potential instructor known and respected by his or her peers? Are
they known at all by their peers? Has his school been in operation for as
long as the Web page says it has?
Unfortunately, these days the school with the best Web page and
brochure is thought to be the best wilderness school as well. Don’t be a fool
with your time and money. Ask the hard questions and cross-reference your
instructor the best that you can.
8 BEWARE THE EXPERT
Large egos and cocky attitudes are all too common in the field of
wilderness survival. One of the more unfortunate manifestations of this
mindset is the failure to be open to learning new material. Any instructor
who tells you there is only one way to do a skill is destined to be upstaged
by a humble student with no preconceived bias as to how that skill is done.
9 STUDY WITH SOMEONE WHO KNOWS
SEVERAL FORMS OF SELF-RELIANT SKILLS
Most outdoor schools confuse “modern survival skills” with “primitive
living skills.” Although there is overlap between the two, learning to
flint-knap a stone knife has limited value for your 59-year-old aunt if she
finds herself thrust into a real time wilderness survival situation. Ultimately
and when taught in the proper order, knowing both sets of skills gives you
greater potential for success when dealing with a survival scenario.
10 MAKE SURE THE STUDENT-TO-QUALIFIED
INSTRUCTOR RATIO IS LOW
Learning and practicing survival skills is a very experiential process.
Unless you’re getting a price break, hands-on instruction involving more
than 10 or 12 students will cause the course quality to suffer because you’ll
spend more time watching than doing.
DID YOU KNOW?
When not teaching for his own
school, Cody Lundin is an adjunct faculty
member at Yavapai College and a faculty
member at the Ecosa Institute.
with a couple years of backyard experience
ecomes the Internet darling wilderness
14 FIELD EXPERIENCE,
It is impossible to Google, Facebook
r YouTube field experience and compe-
ency. The longer an outdoor survival
nstructor has trained people in the
eld—remote wilderness back country—
simply their backyard in a suburban
area or a camp ground, the better they should be at the learned
mindset of what effective, realistic survival training is all about.
When going back inside is not an option, when you’re miles
from the trail head in rugged wilderness terrain with inexperienced
students having no food, little modern gear and the thunder heads
are gathering, this is the type of repeated experience that
separates the men from the boys for the survival instructor.
15 GET WHAT YOU PAID FOR
Bargain hunting for survival instruction has been a bad idea
since humans first roamed the planet.
Think about it. You’re proposing to purchase knowledge and
skills that could literally save your life or that of someone you
love. The $100 or so that you save upfront from a cheaper school
could cost you dearly in the future.
In essence, the money you put down for survival training
reflects how much you think your life is worth. Aren’t you and
your loved ones worth the few extra dollars? Remember, if you
ever need to use your skills, you’ll find them to be priceless. ASG
The U.S. military insists on training
their Special Forces soldiers in small
groups as they know it’s the most
effective way to learn and practice
11 IS THE FIELD COURSE
TAUGHT IN THE FIELD?
Imagine a kayaking instructor who
never took his or her students beyond a
swimming pool for training. It's obvious
that the swimming pool offers zero
training reality and variables compared to
an actual ocean or river, and yet the student is learning to
kayak ... or is he?
When a survival instructor teaches you skills in a campground
or in his backyard, you are not learning survival skills in the
context of how they will be needed and executed in a real survival
scenario in the backcountry. Survival is 90 percent psychology.
Thus a so-called “advanced” course should not have student
vehicles parked 100 yards away as the student knows “escape,”
physically and mentally, is literally right around the corner.
12 I SAW THEM ON TV SO THEY MUST BE GOOD
No one gets field credibility by having a survival show on
television. Thoroughly research your TV expert using several
sources to see if he is the real deal ... and more than likely you
will be disappointed.
13 PHONY ONLINE EXPERT, YOUTUBE WANNABE
Within the last few years, online survivalism—for lack of a
better term—has increased radically. The Internet is brimming
with online stores featuring survival goods by people who have
no real field experience in what they are trying to sell.
Also, self-made videos, blogs, YouTube whatevers, e-courses
and Web sites abound, and with the power of the Internet mixed
with easily duped people, it doesn’t take long before someone
GLIMPSE AT THE CURRICULUM
A Sample of Cody Lundin’s Classes
• Sonoran Desert Daze
• Light My Fire!
• The Abo Kitchen
• The Essential Abo
• Self-Reliance Symposium
• The Arizona Combo Special
• Staying Alive: Modern Wilderness Survival Skills
• The Provident Primitive
• Catching Critters
Cody Lundin (with a shovel) says do not
bargain hunt for survival instruction.
You Can EXPECT
5- and 7-Day Multi-Climate Skills Course
Wilderness Survival and Bushcraft
Permaculture and Sustainable Living
And more …
What You Can LEARN
• How to produce a primitive trap
• Produce cordage (string/rope) from wild plants
• Identify and harvest wild edible plants commonly found across the globe
• Identify and process wild medicinal plants commonly found across the globe
• Learn to cook a meal without pots, pans or utensils
• Learn to purify water in the field with primitive methods
• Construct a survival shelter
• Practice common First Aid measures
• Cover signaling concepts for rescue
THE WILDERNESS COLLEGE
• Wilderness Survival Weekend Course (Class cost: $250)
• Wilderness Survival Series (Class cost: $1,100)
• Self-Sufficiency Series (Class cost: $2,000)
What You Can EXPECT TO PAY
“Learn to Return” Survival
Ancient Pathways, LLC
Ozark Natural Science School
Survival Training School of California
Boulder Outdoor Survival School (BOSS)
Byron Kerns Survival School
Jack Mountain Bushcraft School
Heartroot Nature Connection
10 Montana Wilderness Arts Institute
11 NEW HAMPSHIRE
Marlow, New Hampshire
12 NEW JERSEY
Tom Brown Jr.’s Tracker School
Manahawkin, New Jersey
13 NORTH CAROLINA
Asheville, North Carolina
Midwest Native Skills Institute, Inc.
Lifesong Wilderness Adventures
Northern CA and Medford, Oregon
Primitive Living Skills of Texas
College Station, Texas
Mountain Shepherd Wilderness Survival
Alderleaf Wilderness College
20 Anake Outdoor School
PHOTOS COURTESY OF
CODY LUNDIN AND
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