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Gary Griffin

The following guide will cover the required items for chainsaw operations, tree felling, and debris removal. This guide is intended for someone new to using a chainsaw, the occasional chainsaw user, human powered alternatives, and anyone interested in clearing debris following a storm. The example equipment used in this guide can also be used for firewood processing, it builds an initial tools baseline for woodsman operations, and focuses on personal protective gear required for safe operation. Lastly, when dealing with high powered cutting tasks and tools that need to stand up to a beating, it is best to purchase quality items the first time. The quality items recommended in this guide are more costly than cheaper alternatives, but you should never skimp on personal protection or quality materials; to include chain and axe metals. 

If you are new to tree felling, chainsaws, and other woodsman tasks, Surefire Woodsman offers two excellent DVDs on the subject (The Informed Woodsman and Timber Felling: Pro Tips). 

Emergency Water Supply

Thursday, 21 August 2014 01:00

Clean water is taken for granted by the average American. We simply open the faucet, and out pours water that can be used for drinking, cooking, and conducting personal hygiene. The primary purpose for any public utility water system is for safe human consumption and for conducting proper personal hygiene. However, somewhere along the way, as a society we have become reckless with such a valuable resource. In fact, the average American consumes more than 100 gallons of clean drinking water per day; 400 gallons a day for a family of four. Most of this consumption is simply wasted; running down the drain during a long shower, washing vehicles, or by watering grass to keep in line with the Jones. 

Basic First Aid Kits

Thursday, 31 July 2014 00:00

The key to medical preparedness is planning for the possibility that you may not be able to receive professional medical treatment when an injury or illness presents itself.  In the present, we simply go to a family doctor, urgent care center, or emergency room when medical assistance is needed. The harsh reality is that these securities can be interrupted rather easily. Mother Nature can disrupt our normalcy bias with little to no warning; Hurricane Katrina (2005), the 2011 Joplin Tornado, and Hurricane Sandy (2012). These storms have proven that traveling to a doctor may not be an option during an emergency situation, especially during the onset of the disaster. Roads could be congested, closed, or blocked, emergency and medical responders could be overwhelmed, or you may have been directed to Shelter in Place. So, what happens if you suffer a major injury during this time period? Do you have the required medical supplies on hand and the knowledge to bridge the gap until you are able to receive proper medical care?

Shelter in Place

Thursday, 14 August 2014 01:00

Certain types of events, such as chemical accidents and terrorist attacks, may make going outdoors dangerous. Likewise, you may want to limit the outdoor environment from entering your home. Shelter in Place is the act of taking immediate refuge, whether it is at your home, work, or vehicle, and limiting your exposure to the threat. Depending on the type of emergency, Sheltering in Place may also involve sealing the room, or vehicle, from outside contaminants. Ideally, you should have a Shelter in Place plan for both your home and work locations, but you should also be able to react to an emergency away from these areas. The keys to successfully Sheltering in Place are to understand how to react to each situation, the supplies that are needed, and how to mitigate the challenges that you will face.

A friend asked me to design a solar power system that could be used to power a side by side refrigerator/freezer and a separate free-standing freezer, both for two hours each day. The initial system needed to be less than $500, and needed to be scalable; meaning additional components could be added over time. My friend had his eye on the Harbor Freight 45 watt kit, just like many preppers, however the Harbor Freight kit will not produce enough power to support his needs. So before we get into the system components, let’s first look at the requirements.

Survival Fishing Equipment and Supplies

Tuesday, 30 July 2013 22:20

As stated in our previous fishing article, I have nearly 30 years of fishing experience, and have invested way too much money in fishing equipment. Fishing competitively, I have picked up a wealth of experience over the years. But, there is a big difference between fishing Bass tournaments, and fishing for survival purposes. If I was Bugging Out, I would not leave home without a fishing pole, plenty of hooks and weights, and a few lures. And, my fishing plan doesn’t stop there; to catch fish reliably you need to have a good quantity of supplies.

I have 30 years of fishing experience. My father taught me how to fish, and his father taught him. My children have been fishing since they were a year old. For most Americans, fishing is one of those family traditions that is passed down from generation to generation; whether an enjoyable pastime or one that is dreadful. However, just because you have fished, doesn’t mean you know how to catch fish. Even people that fish regularly, such as my father, don’t always know what they are doing. So why do many Preppers think they are going to consistently catch fish during a survival situation?

Supplement: Top 10 Things to Accomplish

Wednesday, 17 July 2013 00:00

Given the recent influx of Prepper Link Members that are new to Prepping, we wanted to create a supplemental guide to our Top 10 Things to Accomplish article. When you are new to prepping, everything becomes a little too overwhelming. I wish I could tell you the “lost” feeling changes over time, but it doesn’t.  The truth is; while you expand your “prepper” knowledge, your interests in new subjects can spiral out of control. And, when you think you have figured something out, you may realize that you have solved only a small piece of the puzzle.   

Most Preppers believe that there is strength in numbers, and while I agree, I believe most are not measuring their individual, family, or group strength correctly. While, the average type-A personality Prepper attributes strength as physical strength, or the number of able bodied gun-slingers and the quantity of weapons and ammunition at their disposal, strength should be first evaluated by the collective knowledge of your group. In actuality, the personal defense side of preparedness, what I label as a false sense of security for most, is several rungs down the survival totem pole. Closely second to knowledge is the investment in tangible goods; most importantly water, food, and medical supplies.

Download Mission Statement: MS Word Version | PDF Version

Download Group Bylaws: MS Word Version | PDF Version

In our first two articles, Part I: Vehicle Specific Items and Part II: Vehicle Tool Kit Checklist, we addressed items needed for basic maintenance and repairs and the tools necessary for basic maintenance and repairs. This article, Recovery Gear (Part III), will address self-recovery. We use the term self-recovery to address using equipment, and/or assistance of another vehicle, to recover a vehicle that has become high centered in a ditch or stuck in the mud, and to remove obstacles that are in your way. Self-recovery does not include calling a tow company to come pull you out of a ditch.

Download our Recovery Gear Handout

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