Sti-AT 4.25/9mm Australian Tactical

The problem with special order guns in Australia is that theyre for lack of a better word, a head f&*k. It came down to the choice of two pistols, either a glock or an Sti. Both I can work on myself and are easy to get parts for within a day to two weeks. Other brands on the market can take 6 months and over to order since sales agents dont keep them in stock and only order a shipment every few months when large enough to warrant shipping and the ammount of importation paperwork required.�

For a glock to suit what I wanted there are three ways to go about it. One; to buy a model 17A. (A 5 inch barrel is required by law in OZ for auto’s and 4 inches for a revolver) for $900 and then buy a model 22 slide for $600 to replace the original barrel maybe another $300 to a 9mm conversion from either Lonewolf barrels or Stormlake. The easiest way is to order a Stormlake Longslide barrel at 6 inches and have it machined down. Anything under 5 inches wont be allowed in the country. Second; to buy a 17A and a 22 and hand in the barrel, extractor, mags and frame to Firearms Branch. This gives you an extra set of parts.(40 Cals are restricted here to police and security). Hence the 9mm build up, otherwise it would be 40 cal all the way. $900 for the 17A and another maybe $400 for a secondhand ex-security model if they come up for sale. Thirdly; Just buy a model 22 and have to have it inspected by Firarms Branch to say that its been converted. These prices on top of Stainless Steel guide rod, extended slide release, mag release, butt cap, taping the grip, decent sights, EU trigger, etc, etc. Using a conversion barrel brings the weight up and the thickness of the barrel to almost bull barrel proportions.�

The problem I have with Glocks is that I now limp wrist them causing malfunctions, my upper body strength isnt what it used to be. I dont have this problem with 1911’s. By the time Ive done all this I might aswell just purchase an Sti. The model I liked was a Tactical 4.15, undersized making it illegal here unless having a 5 inch barrel inserted. This would be easy in the States but not here, with importation laws and I end up with an illegal 4.15 barrel I couldnt sell or use. Coming to the conclusion that getting it custom factory fitted was too hard, having to import through shipping agents. It became easier just to make one up by importing the parts and having it custom made here to my specs. Hence the AT model or Australian Tactical.�

A� Commander frame and slide length are more likely to pass through an inspection, than a 4.15 slide. The 4.25 inch being close to a Glock 17A in length. The A model being a 5 inch barrel on a 4.5 inch slide. Two of my favorite STI’s that the AT is based on are the Tactical 4.15 with no front racking serrations and a SOCOM (Special Operations Command), made from an Edge with a two tone finish of an OD (Olive Drab) bottom end and a black top end. The original idea was to go for hardchroming but too expensive to have it factory done and I couldnt find anyone in oz that did a good enough job. There are bound to be a few but whomever I approached to use their metal plater also wanted to do the machining of the rails from where the extra coating builds up. This is what I wanted to avoid by staying as close to factory standards as possible. Ceramic baked coatings are far eaiser to have done and the two tone finish may be more suitable for military applications.�

The AT concept is a commander slide length of 4.25 with a 5 inch barrel, on a cut down Edge slide. Made by GFJ Firearms. Giving a Commander slide with full length sides with (no scallop) to match a long dust cover frame. Coupled with a Cerakote finish of a Military Black top end and a Desert Bottom end. Cerakote make three desert colours of Sand, Sage and Verde. Im leaning towards Sand. All parts are factory Sti, made by a MIM (Metal Injection Molding) process of using powdered steel formed under pressure in molds and then sintered, I prefer to stick with factory standard parts as much as possible. �

Speaking of which, always stick with factory STI mags, not aftermarket to be as reliable as possible. Ive only had problems with binding rounds when using aftermarket mags. Here we’re restricted to 10 round mags. Sti make two types of mags. A standard 1911 pattern for their single stack designs and a 2011 double stack mag but with crimping on the side to make them a single stack internally. This gives the best of both worlds in terms of no chance of binding with a double stacker but the ease of inserting into a mag well with the tapered ends.�

Other things worth mentioning are the removal of the ambi safety. I cant shoot left handed and if I had to the safety would already be off. I have small hands but prefer a fat frame. It seems to fill the hand and absorb recoil better. A wider trigger width is prefered for service matches, I no longer compete in IPSC and having to decide between Bomar and Novak sight dovetails when ordering the slide. Still in the design process, I’ll keep updates coming as the process moves along. It should end up looking pretty much like a 4.15 tactical but with a slightly longer frame and slide, extended barrel and two tone finish.�

JFJ Firearms

silverado@esc.net.au

Limp Wristing

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Limp_wristing

Budda’s Glock Build

Part 1

This is an article I put together a while ago, while trying to learn about building glocks and aftermarket parts. Finally have all the components and have started building it. Updates and pics to follow. I ended up with building a Glock over other model pistols due to the ease of aftermarket parts and 10 minutes on youtube will let you do all the work yourself without having to need a gunsmith.

Building a Glock Research

I was undecided on whether to start and do a build on a custom STI tactical 4.15 with an extended 5 inch barrel to be of legal length in oz or buy a Glock and came across the following picture on the m4carbine forum, which sort of settled the choice for me. That and finding several Australian importers of glock parts, that hadn�t been available to me in the past making buying the accessories and parts much easier than importing from overseas due to current import restrictions. It also allowed me to do most of the work myself, unlike working on a STI 2011. http://www.m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=95628

The following link describes how to break the trigger down into its separate components, in order to understand how modifying each one can change the characteristics of the trigger and gun as a whole. http://militarytimes.com/blogs/gearscout/2012/01/01/glock-setup-tips/

There are three main components to the Glock trigger action that determine pull weight: the connector, firing pin spring, and trigger spring. I will be discussing these along with barrel choices, guide rod recoil springs, guide rod weight and combinations of these. The following information is all I could find to learn about building a Glock, since I had never owned one before.

Firstly Guide Rods;

To start with in Glocks guide rods have absolutely no effect on the accuracy of your pistol. In a standard 1911 the guide rod, being so short, only guides the spring at the end of the rearward action. This allows the spring to move from side to side in the frame channel and could allow interference. The full length guide rod forces the spring to stay centered and slide along the guide rod reducing the interference. Ti is worthless for guide rods, you want heavier not lighter. Steel is only slightly heavier but if you are really in tune with your gun you can feel a subtle difference in the handling. Tungsten is much heavier than steel and makes a significant difference.

Below are some guiderod weights. Aftermarket rods are all same brand. Weights do not include the recoil spring.

Stock 17 2.04 grams = 0.071 ounce

Captured Stainless 17 18.3 gr = 0.645 oz

Cap Tungsten 17 34.18 gr = 1.206 oz

Non-cap Tungsten 34 44.56 gr = 1.572 oz

When compared to stock the tungsten is significantly heavier. When compared to stainless the tungsten is almost double the weight. Here is where it gets real interesting. An empty G17 weighs 625 grams. Adding a captured tungsten rod increases the total weight of the gun by more than 5% and in a key location. An empty g34 weighs in at 650 grams. With an extended tungsten rod you are increasing the total weight by almost 7%.

Something that weighs less than 2 ounces may not seems like much but it does make a significant difference in recovery from recoil.

My personal view

I�m using a model 22 in 40cal and converting it to a 9mm. This will bring up the barrel wall thickness and also the front weight of the firearm. I am therefore sticking to a steel guide rod. If I were using a stock thickness competition barrel I would then use a Tungsten rod.

Captured Vs. Non-Captured;

I personally use non captured rods. It is easier to swap out springs and with a little practice it is not any harder to assemble your pistol. There is no mechanical advantage or disadvantage to either, it�s just personal preference. If using a single load, such as when reloading a captured system is easier to install when cleaning. It�s similar to a bolt with a nut on the end that keeps the spring under tension. The advantage of non-captured is when working up loads or using more than one type of factory load and wanting to tune the firearm to the load being used. I generally use three different loads. A 147 grain subsonic at 980fps, my usual load is a Hornady steel match 125 grain running at 1100fps that cost $280 per 500 and ex-military FMJ plus P loads which cost $350 per 1000 rounds. An uncaptured spring set up allows me to change them out using a $12 spring, whereas with a captured system you have to replace the entire guide rod and spring.

Barrels;

KKM vs. Stormlake vs. Lonewolf. There are three links below comparing the three brands. From what I can tell there isn�t that much difference. If I were to choose a standard wall thickness match grade barrel, to fit in a standard slide assembly 9mm to 9mm, without opting to use a conversion/bull barrel 40smith to 9mm luger. I would probably choose a KKM due to the type manufacture, using button rifling.

Button rifling is a process, in which a Titanium Nitride coated Carbide button is pulled under pressure to displace metal to produce a rifled barrel. This process is very expensive but produces a better finished size, surface finish, and surface hardness as well as maintains a more uniform rate of twist than any other rifling process. Each button can be used to produce thousands a barrels before wearing undersized. This allows us to maintain the highest level of quality control.

That�s if I wanted to wait 6 months for the import process to occur in this country and could be bothered filling out B709 forms. If choosing a bull barrel style conversion it would be between a Stormlake and a Lonewolf as KKM don�t make a conversion barrel. The same import process would be required for the Stormlake. Lonewolf have an importer listed below. Hence the lonewolf is my choice.

Note: I have been told that KKM barrels are very tight and some require minor fitting.

Trigger Springs;

The NY trigger are a coil spring within a frame as opposed to factory coil spring, the modules alter the internal geometry and relationship of the trigger linkage. You now have a spring pushing straight up on the back of the cruciform, instead of applying pressure at an angle. The result is a smooth trigger pull and a clean break, with a lightning-fast reset.

http://www.glockmeister.com/TriggerSpringInstallation.asp

Dawson are just reselling the Glock Triggers kit. It removes pre-travel and gives a nice trigger: reduced travel and light pull, not for use on anything but a competition gun. I would offer one word of caution: you need to be very careful about setting the over travel stop and make sure that it does not creep out of adjustment, by using a little blue Loctite.

The Ghost Rocket is not a trigger kit, it is just a connector with a fixed over travel stop that needs to be fitted to an individual gun by filing. It works well, but it is not a complete trigger kit.

NOTE; If you have a Glock that has a couple thousand rounds through it your trigger is already lapped in. If you replace the trigger bar or connector in this gun, it will feel terrible. Any part that is replaced into a lapped system needs to be lapped in itself before a reliable evaluation can be made.

Guide Rod/Recoil Springs;

Effects of a lighter spring: Recoil is transferred to the shooter in a shorter duration of time because the slide is moving at a higher velocity. This is often perceived as less recoil and reduced muzzle flip. With a lighter spring the shooter also has less force to counteract, or you don�t have to work as hard. This usually reduces muzzle flip. Less force to counteract reduces the odds of producing a limp wrist style jam. A lighter spring will result is reduced muzzle dip when the slide closes keeping sights steadier and on target for a faster follow-up shot. Light springs are particularly helpful to smaller shooters like children, women or anyone else having trouble keeping their wrists locked.

Effects of a Heavier spring: Recoil is transferred to the shooter over a longer duration of time due to lower slide velocities. Slower slides equal a longer recovery time for the shooter. The shooter does more work, as there is more force to counteract. This often causes and increase in muzzle flip. The chances of a limp wrist style jam are increased, as there is more force working to unlock your wrists. The chance of the slide short stroking and causing a feed jam is increased. Increased muzzle dip when the slide closes for a slower follow-up shot.

Brass Ejection: It does not matter how far away it lands or if it is in a neat pile. You are there to shoot not to pick up brass.

Frame Battering: A non-issue for Glock pistols. It falls under the category of Internet Nonsense along with the idea that light springs cause kabooms and broken parts.

Spring Selection and Testing: There is no magic weight that is perfect for all shooters, loads and guns. Each shooter must evaluate and test various weights to determine what is best for their application. For rough tuning try different standard weights. For fine-tuning, take a spring slightly heavier than you prefer and trim it until it is just right, this is a trial and error process.

NOTE; MATCH THE SPRING TO THE LOAD.

If trimming springs. Start by removing 1 coil at a time and then check for full travel. Trim until the slide has full travel then check for proper lockup. You can go too light: The firing pin spring can overpower an old or too light recoil spring causing the slide to pull slightly out of battery as you pull the trigger resulting in a light primer strike. If you have off center light primer strike this is probably the cause. Feeding jams; The slide can be so fast that the mag spring cannot keep up.

By using 11 pound recoil springs should greatly reduce or eliminate the need for cutting 13s and should work great in the 9mm guns and the compacts.

IMPORTANT NOTE:

Factory recoil spring ratings above are for current production models with captive factory recoil spring systems which are silver/gray in color. Previous captive factory recoil assemblies for the 17, 17L, 20, 21 & 22 had recoil springs rated at 16 pounds. Earlier non-captive models of the 17, 17L and 19 had factory recoil springs rated at 19 pounds. Not for use in Generation 4 pistols.

�Reduced Power…: 10, 11, 12, 14, 15 & 16 Lb.

�Factory Standard.: 17 Lb.

�Extra Power………: 19, 20, 22 & 24 Lb.

Recommend starting springs weights:

G17 13lb

G19 13lb

G20 15lb

G21 13lb

G22 15lb

G23 13-15lb

G24 13lb

G31 15lb

G32 13-15lb

G34 13lb

G35 15lb

Spring setups:

G34 Production 13lb minus 4 coils

G35 Limited 15lb minus 3 coils

G17 Open 13lb minus 5 coils

G19C Carry 13lb minus 6 coils

Choosing Spring Weight. This part is not as simple. Selecting the proper weight spring is part of the weapon tuning and will depend on what your end goal is to be. The standard weight spring, in the case of Glock 34, of 17 pounds is used to match the average slide performance with industry standard loaded ammunition. This is to ensure maximum reliability for a weapon right out of the box. In your tuning, if you prefer a snappy slide that opens and closes more quickly, you would want to go with a heavier spring and ammunition that has a lighter weight bullet, such as 115gr. You want to make sure you don�t go too heavy on the spring or it could prevent the slide from going all the way to the rear. This would not allow for proper empty case ejection or failing to strip the next round from the magazine. If you would like a slide that is a bit slower and has more of a push feel then a snap, you would go with a lighter weight spring and a heavier bullet, such as the 147gr. Because of the added weight, the round is a little slowing in getting moving and this produces the push feel. Again, don�t go too light on the spring as this will allow the slide to hit the slide stop too hard and cause damage. For a Glock, a good test is to make sure the weapon is not loaded, pull the trigger and hold it. Point the barrel straight up and pull the slide all the way to the rear. Do not release the slide but slowly ease it up until it stops on its own. If it fails to go into battery, on its own, the spring is too light and may fail to chamber a round and go fully into battery.

One thing to remember once you do this, if you tune your weapon for the light bullet/heavy spring, firing rounds with a heavy bullet will not function the same. But, the other way around, firing a light bullet in a weapon tuned for the heavy bullet/light spring, could damage the weapon.

If you have a heavy spring most of that energy is displaced in the spring, resulting in a softer push feeling. If you have a weak spring only a small amount of the energy is displaced in the spring and the rest is displaced when the slide slam’s in to the frame.

If an egg is thrown at you can catch it one of 2 ways. You can just stick your hand out and let it smash in to your hand (weak spring). Or, you can draw your hands back with the egg and absorb the eggs energy without breaking it. This creates a more even disbursement of the energy (heavier spring).

Either way your hands absorbed the eggs energy. Catching it differently didn’t change it’s energy. It only changed how the energy displacement was felt by both you and the egg.

Changing spring weight doesn’t change the energy going in to your hands, Just how it’s felt or perceived. A light spring may feel snappier than heavy but there is less muzzle flip for a shorter duration. It also produces less push than a heavy spring; it is a short tap instead of a long push.

  1. Try a little experimentation for yourself if you have not already. A few rounds with a 15# spring, a 17# spring and a 20# spring won’t hurt anything.
  2. 1911s are NOT Glocks. They have different kinematics and differences in the way the forces are transfered through the frame, due to geometry and material properties. Even the mathematical models show this pretty convincingly. The friction on Glock pistols between the frame and slide is less than in a 1911, the bore is lower and the frame flexes more.
  3. For 4 shooters, in a Glock 22, target acquisition, split times, perceived recoil, timing drills were always at least the same, usually better when the spring weights were increased. We went from 15# to 17# to 20#, 150 rounds each. Every shooter prefered the 20# spring. The round we used was Pro-Load 165 grain Tactical Grade (1100 fps chronographed) and a reload that duplicates it (165 Berry’s at 1100 fps). The spring weights were measured and we had to switch 1 of them to make sure the actual weights remained constant.
  4. Frame battering, in major caliber Glocks, if you want your pistol to last past 50K rounds or so and REGULARLY use hot or Plus P ammo, then a bump in recoil spring weight will help the gun last longer and allow more reloads on the brass.
  5. For the average shooter, I doubt most will ever shoot past 50K rounds on a gun, and the vast majority will be plinking rounds if they do.
  6. A factory Glocks trigger (5.5 pounds) precludes any slight advantage that softer springs may have in medium power loads as far as timing and increased performance is concerned.
  7. Buy a case of ammo or load 1000 rounds up and get yourself 3 spring weights and match your pistol and load to your shooting.

Connectors;

Everybody seems to want a 3.5lb connector because it is “THE BEST”. The truth of the matter is a 3.5lb connector delivers the lightest trigger pull BUT it also delivers the longest pull available. A lot of shooters confuse the 3.5 connector as a mushy system because it has so far to travel. It is hard for some shooters to grasp this theory because they are thinking less (3.5lb) is best? Try to think of it this way: You want to load a 55 gal drum into the bed of your truck.

1 You get a 30 foot plank and roll the barrel along effortlessly but it takes a long time to get the barrel in the truck. (3.5lb connector)

2 You get a 15 foot plank and roll the barrel along. This requires more effort but it doesn’t take much time to get there. (5lb connector)

3 You get a 5 foot plank and roll the barrel along. Man I noticed the effort here but the barrel was instantly in the truck! (8lb connector)

Factory connectors have less of an angle at the contact point with the trigger bar, less that stock = less resistance. The “+” connector has a greater angle, greater = more resistance. Difference either way is about 15 degrees.

Using a 3.5 lb. Trigger Connector: The factory trigger pull on a Glock is similar to shooting a staple gun. It has a long pull and a slight snap to it as the striker releases. The 3.5 lb. drop-in replacement connector gives an immediate improvement in trigger performance on the Glock pistol. The lighter trigger pull weight and the highly polished, nickel-plated surface make the pull smoother and more consistent. It helps the trigger reset more quickly for faster follow up shots and less temptation to jerk the trigger and compromise accuracy. The imported Glocks to Australia use an 8lbs trigger pull.

Combinations;

While doing my research, I came across this useful guide on trigger spring / connector combos. It was originally on this web site http://gunlovers.19.forumer.com/viewtopic.php?t=441

Actually, that link was quoting another article by T.R. Graham. Just want to be sure to acknowledge the original author.) I thought this might be useful for others:

5.5 lb coil trigger spring + 3.5 lb connector

This trigger setup generally gives a nominal pull weight of between 3.5 to almost 6 pounds, and has a somewhat long and “spongy” trigger feel in most guns. An excellent trigger combo for target use, but because of liability concerns it is not normally recommended for defensive applications.

5.5 lb coil trigger spring + 5.5 lb connector

Nominally breaking at 5.5 lbs, and by far the most commonly encountered of all the GLOCK triggers, this factory standard combination is the one that will have the most variation in overall pull weights between guns. Due to various lockwork tolerances a typical stock GLOCK “5.5 pound trigger” can and will break anywhere from 5.5 pounds to almost 8 pounds in a new and tight pistol.*

5.5 lb coil trigger spring + 8 lb connector

One of the least encountered of all the heavier GLOCK factory triggers, this trigger setup is also one of the least desirable, combining and magnifying the vague “spongy” feel of a stock 5.5 coil trigger spring with a stiff 8 pound “+” connector. Although mainly found on police issue GLOCKs, it is a poor choice for defense use, and this trigger setup is emphatically NOT recommended for competition use.*

8 lb NY1 (green) trigger spring + 3.5 lb connector

This almost bulletproof combination will generally give a nominal pull weight of between 4 to 6.5 pounds in most guns, providing a trigger with a much more defined takeup and a much crisper release point. Because the NY trigger spring is virtually unbreakable, this is an especially useful trigger setup for guns used for both competition and defense applications.*

8 lb NY1 (green) trigger spring + 5.5 lb connector

The most widely encountered of all the “heavy weight” GLOCK triggers, this combination gives a nominal pull weight of between 8 to 12 pounds, depending on the gun. Like with the 8 lb “NY” # 1 trigger spring with a 3.5 lb connector, the trigger takeup is firmer and more defined, and letoff and trigger reset is much crisper than the stock 5.5 lb trigger. Also, unlike the stock coil trigger springs, the “NY” trigger springs are virtually unbreakable in normal use, making this an excellent setup for hard duty or rough condition use.*

11 lb NY2 (orange) trigger spring + 3.5 lb connector

This combination feels much like a 8 lb “NY” # 1 trigger spring with a 5.5 lb connector, breaking at or about 9 to 15 pounds. Applications include rough duty or home defense use. Recommended only as a substitute when a standard “NY” # 1 spring cannot be installed.*

11 lb NY2 (orange) trigger spring + 5.5 lb connector

The super-heavy weight of GLOCK triggers, this combination averages from 11 to almost 20 pounds trigger pull. Of limited use, applications include home defense for people with young children, or with persons having especially large and strong hands.*

EITHER of the NY trigger springs + 8 lb connector

NOT approved by the factory. As well as giving a incredibly heavy trigger pull, installing these two components together can cause failure of the sear kickup on the trigger drawbar to drop down far enough to clear the firing pin lug with some guns. In effect, although the trigger will move back and forth, the pistol will not fire. Furthermore, if this happens the pistol cannot be field stripped to remove these components without first removing the firing pin mechanism from the slide.

Trigger Recipes

1) 8 lb NY1 (green) trigger spring + 3.5 lb connector. This almost bulletproof combination will generally give a nominal pull weight of between 4 to 6.5 pounds in most guns, providing a trigger with a much more defined takeup and a much crisper release point. Because the NY trigger spring is virtually unbreakable, this is an especially useful trigger setup for guns used for both competition and defense applications.

2) For a 5-6 lbs trigger it would be very easy. For a true 6 lbs spring use the factory springs and connector. For a 4-5 lbs spring either use our connector or trigger spring with the factory firing pin spring. It is not an exact science but going heavier is always easier than going lighter.

3) Here’s a suggestion that may prove somewhat controversial: Use a 4 lb connector (Glock works has them) and get yourself a NY #1 trigger module.

4) Lone Wolf 3.5 connector

Lone Wolf Ultimate Trigger Stop

Lone Wolf 4 lb striker spring

Lone Wolf 6 lb trigger spring

Polish the trigger bar “birds head” flat and edge where it contacts the connector also the raised angled edge where it contacts the firing pin safety and the “kick up” edge where it engages the striker leg. Polish the leading edge of the firing pin safety and the face. Polish the face of the striker leg.

Squirt a little “Flitz” between all bearing surfaces of the trigger system. (everything you polished) Keep it there for a few hundred rounds then clean all the parts and check the bearing surfaces. They should be lapped in completely. If so, replace the Flitz with a small amount of quality grease or oil. If not, add a little more Flits and check it again in a couple hundred rounds.

Special note: You can use this recipe with any connector, 3.5/5/8. Try them all and pick the one best suited to your style shooting

For rough tuning try different standard weights. For fine-tuning, take a spring slightly heavier than you prefer and trim it until it is just right, this is a trial and error process.

5) The fulcrum trigger will indeed lower the trigger pull though. Installing a 3.5 connector w/ ny trigger spring will make reset better and polishing the firing pin and replacing the firing pin spring will shorten reset.

6) The heavier trigger spring will lighten the trigger a good bit, particularly during takeup. The lighter connector doesn’t change takeup at all but will make the break lighter. It will also tend to make the break “mushier”. Some folks don’t really notice the “mushy” or don’t have a problem with it.

Things to look out for;

If you reduce the poundage you will increase wear on other components such as the lower barrel lugs where they make contact with the vertical impact surface. The process of extraction and ejection are altered in fact that is how one might tell they need to replace their springs when you see the casing being thrown into another time zone.

The relationship with magazine springs and followers can affect how well the pistol feeds and is often referred to as the primary cause of malfunctions. On the flip side, running your gun in a dirty environment, or wanting to insure your gun cycles reliably, some folks recommend raising the poundage to 17-18 lbs. Duty guns.

Competitors tune their recoil springs as mentioned for soft ammo using the idea of managing the recoil so they get back on the target faster. At this point they add a little weight so they might reduce muzzle flip.

You can play with these ideas along with downloading your ammo but the standard weight of 16 lbs for recoil springs and practicing will likely be better for you than tinkering and losing confidence in your pistol.

Peening happens because the frame flexes under recoil allowing the locking block to move upwards and hit the slide.

The most common approach to dropping trigger pulls is to replace the factory firing pin spring with a lighter unit. Unfortunately this makes the gun sensitive to primer hardness. Run hard primers with a light firing pin spring, you will get misfires. If you can always control what ammunition goes into your gun by choosing only ammunition that uses federal soft primers.

Explaining Pre-travel, Reset and Over-travel

1.Pre-travel. Pre-travel is the amount of �slack� that must be taken up before the full weight of the trigger begins. Some pre-travel may give the user the ability to feel the trigger prior to discharge, it also increases the length of pull, which may add some safety margin.

2.Overtravel. Overtravel is the amount that the trigger is free to move after the point at which it activates. In most applications, minimal overtravel is consdiered advantageous as it prevents any jarring caused by the trigger hitting a sudden stop after release. With self-loading firearms, overtravel considered detrimental because it increases the reset distance.

3.Reset. Reset is the distance the trigger must travel forward (as pressure is released) before the trigger is ready to be fired again. Reset is not a concern in single-shot firearms, but in self-loaders where a fast follow-up shot may be desirable, a short reset is preferred.

In conclusion;

As with any modifications or gunsmithing tips, take them with a grain of salt and do your own research.

What I would like to achieve is a 5 pound trigger pull to bring it down from the 8 pound factory weight. Essentially a tactical trigger system, not as light as a competition trigger but not as heavy as a duty trigger where you end up missing the target. Have a medium trigger pull and a short reset using a Zev Industries model ZT-STD-D-9-TAC as a base to work from, being made from CNC billet aluminium. Then play around with a 14 pound recoil spring, Ghost 3.5 lbs tactical connector and Light New York trigger spring and see what happens.

Amendment�s;

Found out some more information since writing article. I will be using a full fulcrum kit. The trigger is billet aluminium and not polymer. It�s also three times wider, better for accuracy. Will also need a 9mm trigger kit to use in a converted 40cal as the ejector pin is slightly different in a 9mm compared to a 40.

Glockworx Triggers

http://www.glockworx.com/Products.aspx?CAT=3688

Ghost Connector Tactical 3.5 lbs

http://www.ghostinc.com/category/50_tactical/

NY trigger Spring

http://www.rockyourglock.com/custom/TriggerSprings/GLO-7405BK2.htm

Links

Anarchangel Blog � How to make a Glock not Suck

http://anarchangel.blogspot.com.au/2005/03/how-to-make-glock-not-suck.html

Modding the Glock � By Duane Thomas

https://www.usconcealedcarry.com/ccm-columns/features/modding-the-glock/

Glock Tech – Recoil Springs, guide rods, Connectors

http://www.custom-glock.com/glocktech.html

Recoil Springs

http://www.gunsprings.com/index.cfm?page=items&cID=1&mID=5#109

Spring Tech

http://www.custom-glock.com/springtech.html

Triggers � Pull Weight, NY Triggers

http://www.gundigest.com/tactical-gear-articles/tactical-military-arms-blog/range-report-glock-new-york-trigger

http://www.boatmanbooks.com/samplelwglocks.html

http://vickerstactical.com/tactical-tips/trigger-pull-weight/

Barrel Comparison

http://glocktalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1420767

http://glock.pro/glock-pistols/1764-barrel.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pU83fh6XoYA

Glock Gen 3 vs Gen 4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qtS59trmk3Q

Zev Tech trigger installation

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iawkkWSHioQ&feature=plcp

Australian Glock Importer Parts

C-More sights and mounts

http://www.dillonprecision.com.au/c/66/more-sights.html?osCsid=27a30b1600b69a2c7e80f319ddf1e33a

Trijicon sights

http://www.urbanconquest.com.au/

Zev Technologies and Lonewolf

http://www.hyperfire.com.au/

Glock Parts

http://glockproducts.com.au/

http://survivalarms.com.au

Trigger Design

http://firearmsdesigner.com/?p=504

GFJ Firearms (special thanks for all the advice and help)

http://www.gfjcustomfirearms.com/

Part 2

What I�ve done to my Glock.

Top End- I started off with a Gen 3 Model G22 40cal. (Now restricted in Australia due to caliber, but to use a heavy barrel you require the 40 caliber slide). As I prefer the aftermarket aluminum extended mag releases on the gen 3’s, compared to the stock wide gen 4 mag release design, hence the older model choice. This has been converted to a 9mm using a Lonewolf Barrel LWD M/22 conversion to 9mm, threaded 1/2 x 28 length 5.03 inches/ 128mm to suit the 5 inch barrel length laws in oz and to enable the use of a close to bull barrel wall thickness to reduce muzzle lift and add to the balance.

The lonewolf barrel slipped straight in with no fitting and has no ejector port slop; all parts were purchased from hyperfire.com.au.

The slide has been bead blasted and Cerakoted in amour black by GFJ Firearms, with a black slide cover plate in aluminum added. All internal and external parts have been changed to titanium, CNC billet aluminum or stainless steel. An uncaptured stainless steel guide rod replaces the plastic version and the original 17 pound spring has been changed to a 14 pound to suit the Hornady 125 grain/1100fps steel match loads I generally use. Uncaptured guide rods are easier to use when swapping spring weights if changing to suit light and heavy loads. The only two parts I�ve ever heard of breaking in a Glock are the guide rod and trigger spring.

The original firing pin spring has been kept to aid in igniting hard primers instead of using the lighter competition version that comes with the trigger kit. The 40 cal extractor has also been changed out to a 9mm extractor. Many people haven�t bothered doing this. Sometimes it works and other times it doesn�t. Why take the chance on a $15 dollar part.

The front sight has been removed; my eyes are what they used to be so I�ll be using a red dot. Trijicon are known as the best, followed by C-more but I ended up with a Burris fast fire due to where the on/off is located on the side. This way I don�t have to reach inside and around the mechanisms for accessibility. It also sells at an affordable price.

Bottom End – Trigger spring has been changed to a NY1 olive 8 pound spring for added reliability over the standard coil spring. The trigger weight should be able to eventually to be reduced by using a 3.5 connector and the adjustability on the fulcrum trigger its self. It should end up being around the 4 pound mark, a good combat weight.

The Fulcrum trigger has a CNC Billet Aluminium trigger pad has an ergonomic correct shape with a flat face that is ideal for shooting with the pad of your trigger finger as opposed to the more rounded face of the factory trigger pad better suited for shooting with the first joint. The Safety of the fulcrum trigger is 3x wider and completely flush when depressed. Safety features a real spring as opposed to the thin plastic nubbin of the factory safety for greater heat and chemical resistance.

The Fulcrum trigger features adjustment screws for over travel and pre travel adjustment. Overall trigger movement can be shortened to �� with all factory safeties intact. Trigger reset has been shortened by half so that pistol can fire mechanically faster. Trigger bar is high polished and precision ground to help eliminate trigger creep and allow trigger to stack up and break consistently.

The trigger system used is a Zev tech fulcrum Gen 3 9mm model as the ejector pin from a 9mm to a 40 calibre is slightly different, even though it�s a 40 calibre slide. If converting, use the trigger system to suit the calibre being used. Glocks are known for reliability, why mess with that unless attempting to improve it. The ejector pin and extractor are small things to change, if doing a job you might as well do it right.

This kit includes a connector, springs, ejector housing, and Titanium Firing Pin Safety.

  • <!–[if !supportLists]–> <!–[endif]–>2/56 Set screws in front and back of the trigger to adjust over travel and pre travel. All aluminium CNC milled out of solid billet aircraft grade billet aluminium.
  • <!–[if !supportLists]–> <!–[endif]–>Wide ergonomic trigger safety is completely flush when depressed
  • <!–[if !supportLists]–> <!–[endif]–>Very short trigger reset
  • <!–[if !supportLists]–> <!–[endif]–>V4 Race Connector
  • <!–[if !supportLists]–> <!–[endif]–>ZT Reduced Power Striker Spring
  • <!–[if !supportLists]–> <!–[endif]–>ZT Standard Power Striker Spring
  • <!–[if !supportLists]–> <!–[endif]–>ZT Trigger Spring
  • <!–[if !supportLists]–> <!–[endif]–>ZT Titanium Firing Pin Safety
  • <!–[if !supportLists]–> <!–[endif]–>ZT Firing Pin Safety Spring
  • <!–[if !supportLists]–> <!–[endif]–>Ejector housing
  • <!–[if !supportLists]–> <!–[endif]–>All glock safeties fully functional!
  • <!–[if !supportLists]–> <!–[endif]–>Trigger pull weight adjustable from 2 lbs � 6 lbs
  • <!–[if !supportLists]–> <!–[endif]–>Instructions and two allen wrenches included

Other Parts I�ve changed are the plastic take down pins to titanium. Probably went overboard with those but what the hell. They�ll outlast the frame. An extended slide release, to replace the standard slide stop, I�ve been too used to 1911�s and Brownings to change to the racking the slide method in order release the slide at this stage.

I�ve never been fond of Glock grips in hot weather with sweat. So am trying out a Brooks Tactical A-Grip. To finally complete the overall balance I�ve used a ZEV tech speed magwell with a brass insert. It now balances better than an STI, with the steel guide rod, bull barrel and brass magwell combination and still remains lighter than a 2011 to carry all day.

Pictures are to follow later when the build has been completed.

Tactical First Aid Kit

My first introduction to the importance of carrying a Tactical First-Aid Kit came when I met Fred Perrin in Paris. He was so well equipped he could support an army field unit. His doctrine was, if you teach the knife you must also teach first-aid, and that has been my conviction since then as well. From that time onward, I have always invited medical personnel to my seminars to teach self-triage and first-aid. Although this article was written primarily for police agencies, I also feel this is an important article for the reality-defense community.�

Tactical First-Aid Kits�
By Fabrice Czarnecki, M.D., M.A., M.P.H.*�

Police officers should carry a medical kit specifically designed for penetrating trauma injuries such as gunshot and stab wounds. Such a kit can be assembled at a fairly low cost, while meeting your requirements better than most commercial kits.�

Individual medical kit:�
While it’s a good idea for all officers to carry this small kit at all times, they should definitely carry the individual kit during high risk activities like warrant service, protective details and firearms training (in case of accidental injuries). Contents should include:�
2 pairs of gloves�
1 or 2 tourniquets�
1 or 2 trauma dressings�
1 or 2 rolls of gauze�

Gloves�
Gloves should be made of nitrile (first choice) or latex (second choice). Nitrile gloves are usually blue, purple or green colored. They are more resistant to puncture and chemicals, and do not cause the allergic reactions that many people have to latex.�

Tourniquets�
Tourniquets are safe and effective in trained hands, especially if left on an extremity for less than one hour. Tourniquets alone could save 6o % of all the preventable deaths from combat trauma, according to Capt. Frank K. Butler, MC, of the Naval Special Warfare Command. My preferred tourniquet is the triangular bandage (usually 37 x 37 x 52 inches). It is inexpensive, lightweight, and easy to deploy. First choice for the tourniquet is the US military (Bandage, Muslin, Compressed, Camouflaged, 37 x 37 x 52 inches, NSN 6510-00-201-1755), or any high quality brand named triangular bandage.�

*Note: Realfighting is a distributor of the Q-Tourniquet. This tourniquet can be applied with one hand, and incorporates a seamless 2″ band secured with a built in ratchet. There is no pinch point to damage tissue and nerves.�

Trauma Dressings�
The key is the ability to apply pressure to the wound, rather than just covering it and absorbing the blood. First choice for the trauma dressing is the military field dressing (Dressing, First Aid, Field, Camouflaged, NSN 6510-00-159-4883, 4 x 6 1/4 x 7 1/4 inches), but it is difficult to obtain if you do not have connections with the military. Second choice is the Cederroth Bloodstopper (sold in most public safety catalogs).�

Rolls of Gauze�
The gauze should be sterile “disorganized” conforming bandage type, like Kerlix bandage rolls (4 inch wide preferred).�

Car or Team Medical Kit�
A larger medical kit should be kept in cars. It could be pre-positioned at the door during warrant service.�
Suggested contents include: Two (or more) individual medical kits, wrapped separately and used only for penetrating trauma; Laerdal pocket mask; Co-Ban cohesive bandage (sticks only to itself); SAM splint; Xeroform dressing or other non-adherent dressings; Bandage strips, tape wound closure; 4 x 4 gauze pads; Tape; Elastic wraps; Safety pins; Space blankets; EMT shears; Cold compresses; Medications: acetaminophen, ibuprofen, triple antibiotic ointment, aspirin; Artificial tears (saline); Antiseptic solution; Alcohol gel; An automated external defibrillator (AED) is recommended to trained officers, if available.�

*Dr. Czarnecki, an emergency physician, is the Director of Medical and Legal research with the Gables Group, Inc., and the Director of Training of the Center for Homeland Security Studies, a non profit corporation conducting training in counter terrorism and intelligence for domestic law enforcement. He served as a trainer and a consultant for several law enforcement agencies and the U.S. Marine Corps.

http://www.realfighting.com/content.php?id=83

The Importance of a Personal Casualty Care Kit
By Paul S. Shubinsky, RN, CEN

The reality in today’s world is that we can’t just dial 9-1-1, and expect that someone will come and save us. We must be responsible for our own wellbeing. When we engage in combat either due to occupation, or by chance, we are at risk of being injured. During the fight these injuries should not distract us from our primary goal of winning; however, they may require immediate self treatment afterward to prevent death. While being healthy and in good shape will increase your chance of survival, it is no guarantee. Shawn Taylor of the Washington Redskins, died from blood loss after receiving a single gunshot wound to the leg, during a robbery of his home.

Penetrating trauma (Ex. Gunshot and stab wounds) can quickly become deadly. Blood loss from an extremity is the number one preventable cause of death in combat at 60%; the second is tension pneumothorax at 33%. Death from severe blood loss can occur very rapidly. The average response time for an ambulance in the city of New York is approximately six and a half minutes.

Penetrating trauma to the chest wall can cause a sucking chest wound. This type of wound interferes with the normal process of respiration and can lead to a tension pneumothorax, which can quickly become fatal. Normally when we breathe in, the pressure in our chest lowers and air enters through our nose or mouth. When we breathe out this process is reversed. In the case of a sucking chest wound, air enters and exits through the hole in the chest wall.

A personal casualty care kit is a first aid kit that contains the items to treat the above injuries. It is small enough to be kept with us at all times, thus allowing us to render care to ourselves or loved ones, immediately after the fight. When traveling to areas where immediate medical care is not available, other basic first aid items should be added to the kit. Some pain medications (acetaminophen or ibuprofen) to treat mild to moderate pain, an antihistamine (diphenhydramine) is helpful for treating allergic reactions, and a topical antibiotic ointment (bacitracin or triple antibiotic ointment) to help prevent infection in minor cuts and burns.

A personal casualty care kit should contain a few pairs of nitril or latex gloves, sterile dressings, pressure dressings, occlusive dressings, hemostatic dressings, tourniquets, sterile saline eye wash, medical tape, and a pocket face mask. This is a device that acts as a barrier when performing CPR. Some of these items can be improvised from common items in an emergency. Any clean cloth can be used in place of a sterile dressing to help control bleeding. An occlusive dressing can be improvised using anything that is flexible and non-porous, and some tape. For example you could tape part of the bag from your potato chips over the wound. In addition to washing dirt and caustic substances out of your eyes, the eye wash could also be used to cool burns, and irrigate wounds. Tourniquets can be made from a loop of cloth or belt, and a stick.

While we invest in training in combat arts, we should also invest in first aid training. This will increase our chances of surviving violent encounters. A basic first aid, certified first responder (CFR), or emergency medical technician (EMT) class is highly recommended. These classes will teach you how to care for common emergencies such as bleeding, fractures, and burns. Bleeding is controlled through the use of direct pressure, elevation of the injured area, pressure points, hemostatic dressings, or tourniquets. Sucking chest wounds can be treated through the use of occlusive dressings. These are dressings that prevent the passage of air through the wound. The emergent treatment of these injuries can be easily accomplished using a few items that we can have with us at all times.�

Disclaimer: This article is intended for informational purposes only. It is not intended as a formal training. The author accepts no responsibility for the use or misuse ofthis information. The practice of medicine is something that should only be undertaken by trained professionals.

About the author: Paul S. Shubinsky is a Certified Emergency Nurse. He has worked in the field of Emergency Medical Services in New York City for the past 17 years. He spent several years working as an EMT, and has worked as a registered nurse in Level One Trauma Centers for the past 15 years. He is also involved in martial arts, close protection, and defensive tactics training.

http://www.realfighting.com/content.php?id=115

Other Articles PDF’s

http://www.tacticalmedicine.com/2articles.html

Tac Med Solutions Blog

http://www.tacmedsolutions.com/blog/�

Tac Med Solutions Products

http://www.tacmedsolutions.com/

Antibiotics

Preparing for Biological and Chemical Terrorism:�
A Practical Guide to Antibiotics and�
Their Usage for Survival�

by�
Leonard G. Horowitz, D.M.D., M.A., M.P.H.�
Tetrahedron, LLC�
Sandpoint, Idaho�


Disclaimer and Background�

This information is for educational purposes only. It is intended to help in the event of biological and chemical weapons attacks on civilian populations. It is not provided in order to diagnose or treat any disease, illness, or injury of the body, mind, or spirit.�

The author, publisher, and distributors of this work accept no responsibility for people using or misusing the potentially life-saving information in this text.�

Individuals suffering from any disease, illness, or injury should, as Hippocrates prescribed, “learn to derive benefit from the illness.” In this sense, in the context of “America’s New War” on terrorism, diagnosing the root causes of contemporary threats best derives “benefit”. That is, comprehend the evil bringing on such illness and distress. The macroscopic–political, social, moral, and personal forces, beside the microscopic agents, are best identified to provide appropriate treatments.�

The antibiotic applications against germ warfare discussed herein are not well-established medical practices. They are best considered speculative, but reasonable, given the urgent and widespread risks of biological attack for which there is no precedent, nor adequate scientific research. Discussions herein are intended to provide self-help strategies under emergency circumstances in which professional care is unavailable, as is anticipated following large-scale exposures of unprotected populations to lethal biologicals.�

It must be stressed that the unsupervised lay use of antibiotics is dangerous for several reasons: 1) antibiotics may cause potentially fatal reactions (e.g., allergy, asthma, and death); 2) antibiotics can prompt greater growth, development, and spread of resistant pathogens such as fungi and Mycoplasma prompting more severe or alternative infections; 3) antibiotic usage can make it more difficult for physicians to diagnose life-threatening infectious illnesses. Thus, self-medication is not advised under normal circumstances of medical personnel availability.�

Furthermore, though certain antibiotics are customarily prescribed to kill certain strains of bacteria, germ warfare presents unique challenges. Biological weapons developers have routinely developed germ strains, such as anthrax, smallpox, influenza, Mycoplasma, Brucella, and more, that are antibiotic resistant. At the same time, vaccines and vaccine manufacturers have proven themselves to be highly untrustworthy.�

Moreover, in the event of a biological attack, the initial benefits of antibiotic prophylaxis and treatment may be jeopardized by a second wave of infection of the same microbe, or secondary infections with other germs. These are expected due to subsequent disease transmission by infected insects, such as flies, fleas, and ticks, and immune compromised victims in which secondary infections are common.�

Typically, bacteria are classified either “Gram-positive” or “Gram-negative” due to their structure and staining characteristics, which reflect their susceptibility to certain antibiotics. The Penicillin family of antibiotics has been effective against Gram-positive infections. Alternatively, the Tetracyclines have been used successfully to combat Gram-negative agents. These will be discussed in more detail later.�

Near the beginning of a widespread biological attack, it may be extremely difficult to determine precisely the causative agent, and thereby select the proper antibiotic. This is due to: 1) the latency, or slow growth period of the germ within exposed individuals, and 2) biological weapons specialists often mix microbes to be used in such a manner as to confuse diagnosis and delay effective treatment.�

For instance, a consensus of authorities predicts inhalation anthrax is among the likeliest biological weapons to be used by terrorists. This is due to its relative ease of manufacture, durability of spores, and difficulty of delayed treatment. Anthrax is a Gram-positive rod-shaped Bacillus. To be more effective in killing large populations, authorities suggest that Gram-negative bacteria, such as Pasteurella tularensis, may accompany such attacks. This germ is likewise rod-shaped to confuse accurate diagnosis and delay time-critical treatment.�

For the above reasons a “combination therapy” may be indicated and most useful in saving lives following a biological weapons attack.�

Weights and Measurements�

Safe and effective antibiotic dosages depend on accurate weights and measurements. For this reason, the following recommendations and basic knowledge is provided for lay civilians under emergency situations:�

To accurately weigh antibiotics in an emergency, use the chart below. Begin by placing a ceramic cup on a postal scale. Weigh it. Next, add the powder you wish to weigh to the desired amount. For instance, if the cup alone weighs four ounces, and you require one ounce of powdered antibiotic (where, according to the chart, one ounce equals approximately thirty (30) grams, that is, thirty 1,000 milligram [mg.] doses), set (or tip) the scale at five ounces with the desired antibiotic.�

The same method may be used for measuring liquid doses. However, one ounce of liquid antibiotic may weigh less than once ounce on a scale. For this reason it is wise to use a graduated measuring containing, if possible, for measuring liquids.�


Weights, Measures and Conversions�

Solid Weights and Measures�
1 ounce (oz.) of solid = nearly 30 grams (Gm.)�
1 pound (lb.) = 454 grams (Gm.)�
1 kilogram (kg.) = 2.2 pounds (lb.)�
1 gram (Gm.) = 1,000 milligrams (mg.)�
1 grain (gr.) = 64.8 mg.�

Liquid Weights and Measures�
1 ounce (oz.) of liquid = nearly 30 milliliters (ml.)�
1 pint = 473 ml. (sometimes rounded up to 480 ml.)�
1 teaspoon (tsp.) = 5 ml.�
1 tablespoon = 15 ml. (that is, half [.5] an ounce)�
1 milliliter (common droppers held upright) = approximately 20 drops of liquid�

Antibiotic Conversions�
400,000 units of penicillin = 250 milligrams (mg.)�



Antibiotic Usage and Duration of Treatment�

Under normal circumstances, antibiotics are intended to be used for approximately one to two weeks. This duration is prescribed in order to kill more slowly growing germs, such as those initially in spore forms that require incubation for disease expression.�

Emergency situations may require less careful treatment durations. This is particularly true if antibiotic shortages occur as expected following a biological weapons attack. In this case, rationing may be necessary and helpful in saving more lives. The shortest duration of antibiotic coverage recommended following a biological attack is from the onset of symptoms to at least 72 hours after the person’s symptoms completely disappear.�

Ideally, antibiotic prophylaxis (for prevention of disease) should begin as soon as a biological weapons attack is confirmed for individuals at risk of exposure. In other words, it is best to leave risky environments in advance of possible exposures. Certainly, urban populations are at greatest risk for biological and chemical weapons attacks.�

Common Allergic Reactions to Antibiotics�

Again, under normal circumstances, individuals who are hypersensitive, or allergic, to antibiotics should avoid taking them. However, following a biological weapons attack, it may warrant the risk of allergic reaction, particularly if antihistamines (such as Benadryl) are available, rather than contracting the infectious disease which is often more life-threatening. In this case, individuals who develop symptoms of allergy, including skin rashes, should ideally be under the care of a physician or hospital staff. Careful monitoring of even seemingly benign skin rashes is advised because of more urgent conditions that may result from simple allergic reactions.�

Individuals with known allergies to specific antibiotics should, obviously, try to avoid taking these antibiotics. Alternative antibiotics, in this case, should be sought and used. For example, people allergic to penicillin may be able to effectively substitute erythromycin.�

As detailed below, there are several types of penicillin, all of which may cause severe allergies and fatal reactions. Penicillin G and penicillin V have been known to cause more severe reactions than ampicillin. Similarly, penicillin injections have been known to cause more severe reactions than similar doses taken orally.�

Approximately ten percent of people allergic to penicillin are also allergic to the cephalosporin antibiotics. The good news is that the incidence of deadly reactions to the entire class of cephalosporin antibiotics is very low.�

In some liquid penicillins, manufacturers mix the anesthetic procaine (i.e., Novocain) into their formulas. Therefore, persons allergic to this commonly used dental anesthetic should avoid taking liquid penicillin suspensions.�

The antibiotics suggested below for use in case of bioterrorism or biowarfare do not contain sulfur or “sulfa” drugs to which many people are allergic.�

Preventive Foresight Regarding Pharmaceutical Supplies�

The likeliest source of breaking news concerning a biological or chemical attack, launched by terrorists or other foes, is the mainstream media. By the time you hear such reports, it is likely that hospital emergency rooms, and doctor’s offices, will be full of ailing victims. It typically takes a day or longer for symptoms of infectious diseases to manifest. The first signs and symptoms of a covert attack include inexplicable headaches and flu-like symptoms.�

Such is the case with anthrax. The first indication of an anthrax attack, providing the strain had not been modified, is cattle becoming sick and dying. This can happen in a matter of hours. Moreover, this is an indication to begin antibiotic prophylaxis.�

Under such trying circumstances, you can expect there to be tremendous demand for medical supplies and pharmaceuticals in the wake of a terrorist attack. It is, therefore, highly advisable to consider beforehand what medical supplies might be essential for your survival and the protection of your loved ones.�

Obviously, people on a regimen of prescription drugs should stock, perhaps, a three months supply in a cool, dark, and dry closet or basement.�

Antibiotics can be purchased in bulk from pharmacists or livestock and veterinarian supply stores.�

In case you need to leave your home or workplace in an emergency, try to plan, in advance, transporting your antibiotics and other medicinal requirements with you. Maintain access to standard emergency kits, particularly during times of possible trouble. Keeping one in your car is a good idea, providing the car doesn’t overheat.�

Given these constraints, diabetics, on the move in an emergency, should try to keep their insulin at room temperature until they are resettled. Above 80 degrees and while freezing insulin will begin to degrade.�

In general, when traveling or storing antibiotics and medications in your car, be aware of extreme temperatures. Extreme heat and cold often inactivates, like insulin, many medicines.�

A Simplified Guide to Antibiotics and Their Uses�

Penicillins�

The original penicillin-G (Pen G), along with more the common penicillin-V (Pen V), are used to fight gram-positive bacteria, such as anthrax. Pentids, the brand name for penicillin-G, come in 400 and 800mg pills. Brand names for penicillin-V include V-Cillin-K and Pen Vee K. The basic Pen G may be purchased from farm and veterinary stores for far less expense than through pharmacies, though make sure you only buy the refrigerated brand. The active ingredients in the unrefrigerated variety are far lower and potentially inadequate.�

Pen G must be taken on an empty stomach. This is not as critical for Pen V. A dose of 250mg (i.e., 400,000 units), for people weighing 50 pounds or more, is taken four times daily. A rule of thumb for children weighing less than 50 pounds, the dosage should be reduced by 20% for every 10 pounds of less body weight.�

These penicillins are more likely to cause allergic reactions, and fatalities, than synthetic penicillins such as ampicillin. Some of the allergic reactions are caused by procaine (Novocain) that is added in some Pen G formulas.�

Ampicillin�

Brand names of this synthetic penicillin include Principen, Omnipen, Polycillin and Totacillin. These are also affective against gram-positive microbes such as anthrax.�

Dosages of ampicillin are the same prescribed for penicillin. This antibiotic should be taken, ideally, on an empty stomach.�

Strains of anthrax that resist penicillin may be more susceptible to destruction by ampicillin. Also, ampicillin may be more helpful than penicillin for killing a broader spectrum of infections.�

Cephalosporins�

These are also effective against anthrax. One gram of Cephalexin taken every six hours is recommended. Brand names for this are Keflex, Keflet and Keftab. One gram of the related Cefadroxil, brand named Duricef, should be taken every twelve hours.�

Erythromycin (Macrolide family of antibiotics)�

Erythromycin and its relatives provide a broader spectrum of coverage than penicillins. Brand names of Erythromycin Pediamycin, Erythrocin, Eryc, EES, Ery-Tab, PCE, Ilosone, and E-Mycin. Other related antibiotics, such as clarithromycin (Biaxin) and azithromycin (Z-pak or Zithromax) may also be effective. A liquid form of erythromycin, called Gallimycin, is available for injection. The oral dose of this injectable product is the same.�

Taken on an empty stomach, this may be used to treat more difficult cases of anthrax. If upset stomach occurs, it should be consumed with a bit of food. Avoid eating citrus fruits or products, which deactivate these antibiotics during digestion. Note: Fatal heart attacks may result from taking these antibiotics in combination with Seldane (terfenadine), Hismanal, or Seldane-D.�

For individuals weighing 150 pounds or more, a 500mg dose is recommended. People weighing less should reduce their dosage proportionately.�

Aminoglycosides�

These antibiotics that are effective against anthrax, tularemia, and the Bubonic plague, include: Streptomycin, Gentamycin, and Neomycin. They can all be extremely toxic. Primary organs at risk for destruction by the aminoglycosides include the kidneys and inner ears.�

Each of the aminoglycosides must be injected, and cannot be taken orally. The oral dosage forms of these antibiotics are effective only against gastrointestinal (GI) tract infections of the stomach and intestines.�

Gentamycin (Garacin) powder can be purchased in bulk. It cannot be absorbed when taken orally, but it can be effective against certain biologicals striking the GI tract such as botulism.�

Streptomycin, taken two to four times daily, in one to four gram doses, equally spaced throughout the day. It can be used in combination with tetracycline until the person’s fever breaks. Then the tetracycline can be continued alone. Otherwise, streptomycin should be used consistently for a week to ten days.�

Gentamycin, is effective against tularemia and the plague. It should be injected intramuscularly or intravenously every eight hours in emergency measures of 1.7mg per kilogram body weight. As soon as symptoms of disease disappear, the dose should be reduced to 1.0mg per kilogram of body weight for the remaining 7-10 day period.�

This antibiotic is available in bulk through veterinary stores. It is likely that this less expensive product may be successfully used orally to defend against the plague or tularemia germs infecting the gut.�

Neomycin, when given in doses of 500mg, four times daily, may be helpful against anthrax, plague, and tularemia, though it has not been traditionally prescribed for these. Use this only if the other aminoglycoside antibiotics are unavailable.�


Fluoroquinolones�

In daily doses of 300mg per kg. of body weight (i.e., 65mg. per pound), Ciproflavoxin (Cipro) is effective against tularemia and anthrax. The daily dose should be divided into four doses taken every six hours for two weeks. Following the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 on the Pentagon and World Trade Center, this extremely expensive drug has been in high demand as the FDA’s antibiotic of choice against anthrax. Disturbing politics regarding this selection and its manufacturer-Bayer-may be found at http://www.tetrahedron.org.�


Chloramphenicol�

Effective against anthrax, tularemia and plague, Chloramphenicol (Chloromycetin) has a relatively high rate of lethal side effects. Thus, persons allergic to safer antibiotics should only use it, or in the event other medications are unavailable. More expensive than other antibiotics, this injectable product can also be consumed orally and absorbed effectively into the bloodstream. Ideally, taken on an empty stomach, it may be consumed with food to reduce stomach upsets.�

Chloramphenicol has the same spectrum of activity as erythromycin. Thus, it should never be given with erythromycin unless under emergency conditions at the first sign of biowarfare-induced illness. It may, however, be taken with Tetracycline for a broader spectrum of effectiveness. This combination may be wise if it is unclear which biological weapon is causing illness, and if rationing is not in effect.�

The injectable form of chloramphenicol tastes awful! For people weighing 200 pounds or more, 2,500mg doses recommended.�

Tetracyclines�

Tetracyclines (brand named Sumycin and Achromycin-V) are broad-spectrum antibiotics available from farm supply shops and veterinary stores in the form of oxytetracycline. These can be used effectively against all most strains of anthrax, plague, and tularemia.�

Oxytetracycline comes in bulk powder form under the brand name Terramycin-343. It also comes in combination with livestock feed (Advance Calf Medic). This could be used in a pinch if other antibiotics were unavailable. There are 3 grams of active antibiotic in each pound of feed. A low dose could be provided by consuming almost 1.5 ounces; a high dose twice that could be measured and eaten.�

Two newer classes of tetracycline are Doxycycline and Minocycline . Brand names for these tetracyclines include the Doxycyclines-Vibramycin, Vibra-tabs, Monodox and Doryx; and the Minocyclines called Minocin.�

Tetracycline is typically taken four times a day, doxycyclines once per day or twice per day when taken with Minocycline. The two newer cyclines can be taken with food, not the older tetracycline. They, thus, tend to cause fewer stomach upsets. Doxycycline is typically less costly than traditional tetracycline, and Doxycycline and Minocycline provide a broader spectrum of antibiotic effectiveness than the old standard. Stains of biological weapons the may have been manufactured to resist tetracycline might be more susceptible to the newer cyclones.�

As a rule of thumb, four 250mg doses of tetracycline are prescribed daily, that is, one dose every six hours for your typical 100-pound person. For persons weighing less than 100 pound, reduce this dose accordingly. For instance, if a 100-pound person receives 1,000mg per day, then a 50-pound person would receive 500mg per day, or four 125mg doses q. 6 hours. The Doxycycline dosage is typically 200mg the first day, and 100mg doses following for up to ten days. The oxytetracycline (Terramycin) dose is the same as standard tetracycline. Another alternative tetracycline, called demeclocycline (Declomycin), may be substituted for standard tetracycline employing the same dose schedule as well.�

Preserving and Administering Your Antibiotics�

Most antibiotics and drugs can be preserved by refrigeration, so long as they are kept dry. If traveling through extreme temperatures, antibiotics should be encased in Styrofoam containers, at best, and efforts should be made to avoid heat or freezing cold.�

Warning: No drug should be consumed beyond its expiration date, especially Tetracycline antibiotics. Severe reactions may result from this expired antibiotic. However, when faced with a life-or-death situation, as might be presented with biological warfare or bioterrorism, such chances might have to be taken.�

Antibiotics are typically administered orally or by injection. However, if the patient is comatose, the oral route may be circumvented rectally by using a plastic oral syringe available in most drugstores. This should be inserted as deeply into the rectum as possible. Use of a few drops of water, then larger amounts of cocoa butter, for dissolving the antibiotic. Cocoa butter is available in most drugstores in sticks that are melted in a jar placed in hot water. The butter is commonly used for suppositories and will hold the antibiotic for absorption better than water. Water may run out of the rectum and thereby precious antibiotic may be lost. So if water is all you have, use as little as possible to dissolve and inject the measured amount of powdered antibiotic.�

Antibiotic tablets can be crushed and powdered by placing them between two napkins on a hard surface and pounding them with another flat hard object or instrument.�

The absorption of active antibiotic is less, given the rectal route of administration. For this reason, the dosages should be increased to compensate.�

Maintaining Healthy Gut Flora and Immunity�

Three primary factors determine the outcome of a biological attack on any one individual: 1) the quantity of germs to which the person has been exposed, 2) the “pathogenicity” or power of the germs to cause disease, which depends on the unique strain, and 3) the “host resistance.” This depends on the vitality of the individual’s immune system.�

Obviously, in the event of a biological or chemical attack, the first two factors are largely, if not entirely, beyond the control of individuals. It is upon this liability that terrorists act. But people can make a profound difference affecting the third factor-human immunity-by making a few simple choices. The first is, maintaining a healthy gut flora.�

According to scientific literature, the bacteria in the large and small intestine help digest foods, support nutrient assimilation from foods, are critical in preventing infectious diseases for a number of reasons. For instance, Lactobacilli, commonly found in healthy guts, helps prevent infections from eating foods contaminated with biologicals such as Botulism. A healthy gut micro flora also helps with the elimination of harmful cholesterol, toxic chemicals, and cancer-causing compounds, both natural and man-made. More than 90% of human immunity is, in fact, tied to lymphatic activity around the gut. Consequently, a healthy immune system is largely dependant on the intestinal flora.�

Ideally, soil-based microbes, typically found on organically grown foods, should be consumed for boosting natural immunity against infectious diseases, including anthrax and other potential biological weapons. Far more effective than eating yogurt that contains Lactobacilli, there are several products available in good health food stores that supply a full pro-biotic spectrum of soil-based microbes that many alternative health professionals have been prescribing with very favorable results. One such product is called GI Flora Pro (http://www.healingcelebrations.com; 1-888-508-4787), which sells for about $29 for a 30-day supply.�
A five-step protocol for boosting natural immunity to help fight biological attacks is available from a non-profit publishing company, Tetrahedron, LLC (http://www.tetrahedron.org/; 1-800-336-9266). Their information includes how to: 1) detoxify your body, 2) deacidify your body, 3) boost natural immunity, 4) oxygenate the blood and other body tissues, and 5) bioelectrically manage infectious diseases and recoveries. The material is presented in a 225 page hardcover book titled, Healing Celebrations: Miraculous Recoveries Through Ancient Scriptures, Natural Medicine and Modern Science. The book sells for $22.85, and the advice may be life saving.�

Biological Weapons�
The following chart presents the biological weapons most likely to be used during a terrorist attack, and details concerning its diagnosis and treatment:�
Agent Gram Staining First Symptoms and Treatment�
Anthrax positive Headache, fever, coughing, confusion, rash, joint and�
joint and muscle pain. Tx: Tetracyclines, Pen G, ampicillin and erythromycin.�
Botulism positive Weakness, blurred vision, difficulty in speaking and swallowing, dry mouth, nausea, vomiting, spreaking weakness, Tx: Horse antitoxin�
Bubonic plague negative Fever, headache, abdominal distress, inability to sit or stand, swollen glands particularly in the groin, Tx: Hydration and Tetracycline�
Cholera negative Watery diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal cramping, Tx: Hydration and Tetracycline�
Dengue fever parasite Intense aching in head, muscles and joints, and fever. Second bout is accompanied by a destructive rash . Tx: none but symptom managmt.�
Ebola virus headache, fever, malaise, cough, rash, and bleeding out. Tx: palliative�
Enterotoxin B positive Staphylococcus causes headache, nausea, fever and weakness Tx:�
Tetracycline, Doxycycline or broad spectrum antibiotics.�
Encephalitis virus Fever and headache, meningeal irritation, swollen parotid glands like mumps, skin rash with some, seizures, brain dysfunction. Tx: palliative�
Smallpox variola virus Severe headache, high fever, skin rashes with vesicular and pustular stages of lesions. Death by secondary infections. Tx: palliative.�
Tularemia negative Fever, malaise, headache, liver swelling, ulcerating skin lesions, possible lung involvement with coughing. Tx: Streptomycin, Tetracycline and chloramphenicol.�


Chemical Weapons�
The following chart presents the chemical weapons most likely to be used during a terrorist attack, and details concerning diagnosis and self aid:�
Agent Type Smell Symptoms and Self Aid�
Tubun ‘GA’ Nerve Fruity Tightness in chest. Difficulty breathing. Runny nose. Eyepain and blurred vision. Nausea, seating, salivation, elevated pulse, heartburn, vomiting, giddiness, muscle spasms, involuntary urination, paralysis and respiratory arrest. Tx: Wash off immediately and completely. Inject 2mg atropine into thigh, followed by 4gm. Shot of parlidoxine mesylate (oxime). If symptoms persist, give atropine again-two more 2mg doses at 15 minute intervals. Apply emergency first aid, including CPR for artificial respiration for approximately 2 hours if breathing stops. Atropine can cause serious side effects and must not be used unless there is certainty that nerve gas has caused the poisoning.�
Sarin ‘GB’ Nerve Little Same as above.�
Soman ‘GD’ Nerve Camphor Same as above.�
VX Nerve Unknown Same as above.�
Mustard Blister Garlic Eye and skin irritant causes blistering of skin and lung damage. High risk of developing pneumonia. Symptoms delayed for up to 48 hours. Can be fatal. Tx: Wash off contamination immediately and completely with water. Later washes will cause worse pain. Use mydriatics, antibiotics, and local anesthetics to reduce pain. Treat blisters palliatively as burns. Bed rest.�
Phosgene Choking ? Lung damage. Causes victim to drown in own mucous. Tx: Same as above.�
“CN” Incapacitating Blossom Eye and skin irritant. Tearing with breathing difficulty. Nausea and headache common. Tx: Codeine for cough and plenty of warmth, oxygen and bed rest.�
“CS” Incapacitating Pepper Severe eye irritant. Causes coughing, tearing, flu-like symptoms, nausea, and breathing problems. Tx: Wash eyes thoroughly with warm soap and water. Breath lots of fresh air. Bed rest.�
“BZ” Incapacitating ? Skin flushes. Heart pounds irregularly with hastened pulse. Hallucination, giddiness and maniacal behavior. Tx: Restrain victim. Quiet bedrest.�


Clean Water and Adequate Hydration�
Having a pure water source following a biological or chemical weapons attack is critical for two main reasons: 1) Victims frequently become dehydrated, and 2) Purified, or distilled, water is needed for detoxification of blood, liver, and kidneys. Following a biological or even chemical weapons attack, water supplies may be contaminated. Water distillers may be purchased, but most require electric power to run. The best transportable, non-electric, water filtration system available is the British Berkefeld. It typically sells for $279 (http://www.prophecyandpreparedness.com/; 1-208-265-2575) and is the ideal hardware to have on hand to filter potentially contaminated water supplies in emergency or survival situations.�


Healthy Food Intake and Supplies�
Consider what could happen to food supplies in the wake of an anthrax attact. Cattle herds would likely need to be slaughtered causing a run on remaining beef and dairy supplies. Prices for these commodities would skyrocket. Contaminated grains might also need to be burned to prevent further spreading of the anthrax spores during harvesting and transport. Prices would likely rise here as well. There may be greatly increased demand for flour, grains, dried cereal, and probably other baking supplies as well. This is why many people have begun to stockpile some of these resources as well.�

You’ve heard the saying, “You are what you eat.” If you decide to stock up on essential food supplies for survival, it’s wise to think of boosting your immunity along with receiving the greatest value for what you spend. The first and finest grain you might want to stockpile for these concerns is called amaranth. Its cost is reasonable, you can use if for baking, and best of all, it contains all of the amino acids and enzymes you need for life. The Aztec and Mayan civilizations depended mainly on amaranth and good pure water for their strength and survival.�

Ideally, for immunity, you want to be eating organically grown foods. One product that contains a hefty amount of organic amaranth, and other nutritionally wholesome and immunologically supportive ingredients is called Green Harvest. Most people, under emergency conditions, could live off of this good tasting powdered food formula, mixed with water or organic juice(s). Green Harvest is available in select health-food stores, and from the manufacturer (http://www.healingcelebrations.com/; 1-888-508-4787). It costs less than $35 for a one month supply. The manufacturer supplies this product by the case at large discounts for families that wish to stock up. Their website also provides a host of other products and educational resources for boosting natural immunity for preventive health care and improved recovery rates from infectious diseases and cancers.

Emergency Back Up for Type 1 Diabetics

The storm season is coming again and with it brings memories of Hurricane Charlie. For those that don�t remember, Hurricane Charlie was a category 4 hurricane that landed unexpectedly in Charlotte County, Florida. It took only three days for FEMA and the National Guard to come in and help, but in other hurricanes, it took longer. Much too long for people with type 1 Diabetes and no way to keep their insulin the proper temperature. (I�ve heard that insulin needs to be kept cool otherwise it will break down.) Coolers help for a day or two, but if you are caught off guard, you might not have the ice necessary to properly chill the medication. If it lasts for more than two to three days, you�ll be very concerned about trying to find more ice.

Then I saw the answer in an offroad magazine. Portable mini fridges.

These mini refrigerators are designed tough and have been engineered to withstand the jostles, bumps, and bangs that come with driving off road in the cab or in the bed of a truck.

They run off a 12 volt system and plug into the cars lighter socket. This means they use low amounts of energy which is good when electricity is scarce.

They also have an adapter that lets you use a standard plug so you can plug it into a generator or anywhere there is a 110 outlet.

Here�s two that I found online.

The first is by Waeco:

This is the company I read about in the magazine. A cooler sized model was tied to the bed of a pickup that drove over 500 miles of washboard roads, powder dust, hidden pot holes, and river crossings. It never failed. It kept everything cool even though it was outside of the vehicle and had the sun beating down on it. Waeco also makes an insulated cover for it so it doesn�t have to work as hard in the heat.

My biggest concern about this fridge is the price. They range from $300 to $400 for the inboard small one to $700+ for s cooler sized one. And that�s without the cover.

There are people out there who just can�t afford that and I want to give them an optional choice more suited to their budget. After a little searching, I found this:

The Koolatron 29 quart cooler.

It too is a 12 volt system that plugs into the cigarette plug in your car, but you have to buy the 110 volt adapter plug separately if you want to plug it into a generator or other regular outlet.

The good news is the price. The list price is $160 for the cooler and Amazon has it listed for $117.00 without the adapter plug. (The adapter plug goes for around $40.00.)

I have no reports or reviews of this refrigerator other than what people posted at Amazon. Read them and decide if this will work for you.

While not having to deal with an emergency is ideal, these two refrigerators give a little help to diabetics that have to deal with a storm or other emergency. Having these fridges able to be powered by a car battery gives you a way to keep your insulin cold if you lose power to your house. It also gives you a way to safely transport it if you have to travel a long distance. If worse comes to worse and your car is destroyed in the event, you can pull out the battery from the remains, yank the plug off the wires, strip the insulation off the wires and tie them to the battery terminals themselves to get the power. It�s not ideal, but it�ll work.

Going through the cleanup after a storm is bad enough. Being able to do it without worrying about insulin is a game changer. Stay safe and stay strong.

Survival Retreat – Defending your Retreat

The single most important criteria of all is to insure the retreat you select is defend-able. Your defense may simply be its isolation, its physical preparations (Barb Wire, Entrenchments,etc), or a combination of the two. Remember, however, even the most thoroughly prepared and vigorously defended survival retreat may not survive repeated assaults from heavily armed and determined bands of looters in a highly populated area. Conversely, the most isolated survival retreat may fall to a single looter unless basic security precautions are taken.

Basically, stay as far away from the population centers as possible. As food begins to disappear from the supermarket shelves, roaming bands of looters and thugs will gradually begin the attrition process.. The weak and unprepared in the major urban areas will be the first victims of the collapse. The more agrarian and remote cities and towns will be spared the violence initially. However, the interstate highway system and modern communications systems will soon spread the disorder thru most of the country. We will assume that your survival retreat is somewhat isolated, or at least away from the major urban areas.

Survival Retreat- Never Retreat Alone

To a certain extent there is safety to be found in numbers. A well defended retreat of several families is less likely to be attacked than that of a single family. Only if you have the protection of total isolation -deep in the North Woods, Arizona desert, etc. – should a single family retreat be consider.

One person can only remain on guard duty so long. Even a well armed single family would be overwhelmed in a short time by the coordinated attack of only lightly armed looters. Multiple family retreats offer the following advantages:

(1) Coordinated in instituting a coordinated and well prepared defensive system that would not be possible for the single family.
(2) Sharing of the tasks of defense, hunting, food preparation, house keeping, farming, etc
(3) The potential of attracting qualified medical personnel (most important) to an established survival retreat

Survival Retreat – What about your Neighbors?

In some respects the best neighbors to have at your survival retreat are none. The fewer people that are in an area the less likely an armed group of looters will be checking the area out. Looters and other parasitic creatures will prey on those that have neither the knowledge, weapons or will power to defend themselves. If the area that your survival retreat is situated in has large numbers of unprepared people the changes of looters attracted to your retreat will be greater.

Although an area where there are multiple survival retreats linked together with wired communications may be able to offer each other mutual defensive support in case a massive band of looters happens to fall upon the area. This plan may be worth consideration.

 

Long Term Food Storage-PT 1 Nutrition

Long Term Food Storage-PT 1 Nutrition

I won’t go too far into nutrition, but need to cover the basics to explain the reasons behind the way I’ve approached things. Proteins have two main functions, firstly to promote growth. Secondly they maintain supplies of enzymes, hormones, antibodies to regulate body functions. Proteins are made up of amino acids, approximately twenty act like building blocks. Nine of these are essential, that our bodies cannot do without or synthesis them itself.These include; isoleucine, leucine, lysine, threonine, tryptophan, methionine, histidine, valine, phenylalanine. Proteins from animal sources contain all essential amino acids. No single vegetable contains all of these and need a combination to provide a complete protein. �

In contrast to animal products, most of the foods derived from plants rarely have the complete array of the 9 essential amino acids you need to survive. For example, rice is quite high in the total amount of amino acids it contains, but misses out on several of the 9 required by the human body. For this reason, from the perspective of getting enough of amino acids in your diet you cannot survive indefinitely on rice alone like you could on beef.�

Plants have provided a means to obtain the complete amino acid array we need to survive without having to consume any animal products at all. This is done by mixing and matching. What some plant based foods lack in amino acids, other foods have. For example, eating just beans or eating just rice will result in not obtaining all the 9 essential amino acids you need to survive. However beans and rice complement one another so that by combining them into the same meal you will receive all the amino acids you need to maintain health.�

��Rice / Chickpeas

��Corn / Lentils

��Corn / Rice

��Corn / Beans

��Beans / Rice

��Rice / Lentils

��Pasta (Wheat) / Chickpeas�

To achieve a complete amino chain with vegetables; beans, corn and squash need to be used in combination. These are also refered to the three sisters. Corn, beans and squash also complement each other nutritionally. Corn provides carbohydrates, the dried beans are rich in protein, balancing the lack of necessary amino acids found in corn. Finally, squash yields both vitamins from the fruit and healthful, delicious oil from the seeds.

Many societies throughout history have hit upon the right food combinations that together provide the complete amino acid set necessary for survival. For example beans on corn tortillas in Central America, soybeans and rice in the Far East, cornbread and pinto beans in southern US. When laying in your preparedness food supplies you would do well to emulate those who have successfully figured out the correct combinations necessary for health and survival.

Examples of Foods High in Amino Acids

  • Grains include wheat, oats, rice, barley, and corn.
  • Seeds and Nuts include almonds, cashews, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds.
  • Legumes include peanuts, soybeans, lentils, peanuts, and a wide variety of beans.

Food Combinations for the Essential Amino Acids

For example, beans (a legume) when combined with rice (a grain) are an excellent source of the complete array of essential amino acids. Combining rice with nuts is still a good combination, but not optimal as compared with the beans and rice combination. Therefore if you have these kinds of foods on hand you can optimize your diet by making food combinations.

If you add some milk products, in the form of powdered or canned milk or long lasting cheeses, your options are increased. For example a glass of milk with a whole wheat sandwich is an excellent combination for obtaining the essential amino acids.�

Carbohydrates consist of two types 1) Simple e.g.; sugars and 2) Complex e.g.; starches.� Sucrose the most commonly eaten (sugar) have no nutrients and is used mainly for taste and fast energy. Complex carbs are from potato’s wholemeal bread and flour products.Before being used by the body must be broken down into simple sugars and absorbed through the small intestine. Then used as energy or as a reserve to maintain blood sugar levels, between meals or during exercise.� �

Apart from providing energy, carbs are needed to metabolize protein, so they can be used for the above functions.� To release the energy from carbs the body needs sufficient quantities of vitamins. Everything is connected.When I first started to research long term food storage, complete proteins were never really mentioned. Everything was based around old methods.�

Mormon Four�

1.�Wheat

2.�Milk Powder

3.�Sugar

4.�Salt�

This provides the basic minimum to stay alive, (but who would want to on this) and needs to be incorporated with foraging.�

An alternative is the Kearney Diet of;�

��Red Wheat

��Corn

��Pinto Beans

��Olive Oil

��Salt�

Which is slightly better at providing complete proteins, but very limited to recipe ideas.�

A One Year Grub Stake consisted of;�

��Split Peas

��Beans

��Flour

��Salt

��Sugar

��Dried Eggs

��Cooking Oil

��Coffee

��Rice

��Pepper

��Baking Powder

��Baking Soda

��Yeast�

I wanted to combine these and add a few more essentials to increase variety and nutrition. I also wanted to separate Long term, Medium term and Short term.�

Long Term (5-10 years) are items that could be brought gradually, stored in plastic food grade tubs, sealed and wouldn’t be touched.�

Medium Term (1-2 years) items used all the time and rotated fortnightly, mainly tinned foods with a three to six month supply.�

Short Term (6 months-1 year) essentially foods used in homemade MRE’s to be used in my BOB kit or backpacking trips.

HEALTHY PINTO BEANS – and PEOPLE

About 20 years ago, someone noticed that the people in one remote village (A) on the East coast of Mexico were very healthy, yet the people in another remote village (B) about 70 miles away were not healthy. Their diets were virtually identical: a little fish, their home grown beans, some corn, and a few vegetables. The soil conditions and water available for gardening were virtually identical, and the villagers used similar clay crocks or jugs for storing their harvests.

Another obvious difference between the two villages was that the first one was able to store beans from one harvest to the next, but the poorer villagers often ran out of stored beans, as bean weevils destroyed their dried beans.

The people in village A were healthy and industrious, their children full of energy, with strong limbs and teeth, ran to their tasks and games as healthy children do. Meanwhile, in village B, the people were listless, did less work, and the children all had symptoms of rickets and scurvy.

So what could make such a tremendous difference in the health of people in two neighboring villages? After considerable study, it turned out there were two things the people of the distant villages were doing differently.

In village A, a watchful villager had noticed that bean weevils had to brace themselves against one bean in order to gnaw through the hard outer shell of another bean. So they only filled their storage crocks three-fourths full, and once a month would shake them. The shaking of the beans would by itself kill the been weevil larvae, and thus their beans would remain unharmed in storage.

Again, in village A, persons long before had noticed that beans were hard to digest, which meant that all of the food value was not being extracted from them. So they added a teaspoon full of wood ashes (lye) to the soaking water for their beans, then rinsed the beans and discarded the soaking water before cooking. The lye altered the state of the lysine in the beans, so the available amino acids were much more readily assimilated by the human digestive tract. It worked: they were healthy.

You are wondering if the researchers took those lessons from Village A back to Village B, and everything turned out just fine, like in a fairy tale, right? Well, they tried, but the B villagers said they had been growing and saving beans for years, they knew what they were doing, and something as simple as shaking their beans was dumb, and they weren’t going to put any wood ashes in their beans. Sounds like the tale of the ant and the grasshopper to me!

Toxicity

Before they are eaten, the raw bean seeds should be soaked in water for several hours and then boiled for at least ten minutes in new fresh water to degrade a toxic compound – the lectin phytohaemagglutinin – found in the bean which would otherwise cause severe gastric upset. This compound is present in many varieties (and in some other species of bean), but is especially concentrated in red kidney beans and white kidney beans (Cannellini beans). Although in the case of dry beans the ten minutes required to degrade the toxin is much shorter than the hours required to fully cook the beans themselves, outbreaks of poisoning have been associated with the use of slow cookers whose low cooking temperatures may be unable to degrade the toxin. Sprouts of pulses high in haemaglutins should not be eaten. Kidney beans, especially, should not be sprouted.

This is the most commonly used bean used for refried beans (fresh or canned) and in many dishes at Tex-Mex restaurants. Rice and pinto beans served with cornbread or corn tortillas are often a staple meal where there is limited money for meat, as the combination of beans and corn creates all the protein amino acids needed in a meat substitute. When it comes to making chili, if a bean is added, this is the one typically used, although the kidney bean, black bean, and many others may also be used in other locales.�

Long Term Food Storage-PT 2 Storage

Long Term Food Storage-PT 2 Storage

There are three ways of storing foods for long term use; Descendants, Nitrogen and Dry Ice. I’ve tried to suit these to an Australian context as most of the information on the net is suited to other countries where different products and pricing are available.�

There are two types of desiccants or moisture absorbers, short term that lasts for six months without opening then once opened only last for twenty minutes and those that last for a year before needing to use. These can last up to two hours once exposed to the environment.�

These need to be used in conjunction with mylar bags as they form a partial vacuum and can cause the collapse of a pail. When used with mylar only the bags contract and use the structure of the buckets for support. The amount of desiccants need to matched to the size of the container being used to remove the correct amount of moisture. The bags cannot be used alone as they are easy to puncture. I haven’t been able to locate a local supplier for either the mylar bags or food grade moisture absorbers.�

Nitrogen can be used immediately, as the pails can be closed as soon as they are full. This may be a good choice if sharing the cost between several people for large amounts of buckets to be sealed. �

To rent a food grade nitrogen bottle G size 8000 litres weighing 60 kilo at five foot in height costs approximately $150/yr for the bottle, $110 for the gas, $175 for the regulator, not counting hoses and still requiring transportation. Bringing a subtotal to $450 or there about.NOTE: when using Nitrogen in enclosed spaces it becomes deadly.�

Using Dry Ice costs $6.50/kilo in pellet form requiring approximately 10 kilo or $50 – $60 for the amount of containers I would need to fill. Dry Ice forms CO2 as it melts, removing the O2. The idea is to remove as much oxygen as possible to stop oxidization and to prevent insects from mulitplying through their life cycles. NOTE: when handling dry ice it can burn. Always wear safety glasses and gloves when handling.�

I want to use 10-15 kilo buckets as these will fit under a double size bed, stored out of the way and are light enough to be easily moved without the need of a sack truck. If one pail should become contaminated or have broken seal, only a small amount of the stores will be effected and not the entire amount.

The smallest food grade buckets/pails I’ve been able to find hold 15 litres/15kgs are 13inches/330mm in height with lid or 290mm without and 12inches/300mm in width. The lids have a rubber seal in the base of the lip and a tamper seal on the lips edge, preventing removal with out first removing the tamper strip.�

This size will fit 24 containers under a double bed frame and are light enough filled, to be easily moved for either rotation or possible evacuation. A sack truck is still needed to move more than one container at a time.�

I was considering importing Gamma seal screw on lids from the States costing $6.85US ea not including shipping subtotal $168US or $200AUD before shipping is included. It costs $228AUD for 24 buckets and lids from the local manufacturer. Other than the cost, what sold me with using the push on lids were the tamper seal, luckily these are reusable.You definitely know that no one has gotten curious and decided to open any of the pails to see what’s inside and release the carbon dioxide stuffing up hours of preserving. These have cost me $6.36/bucket and $2.27/lid with 0.87 GST/EA coming to a total of $9.50EA or $228/24 containers.�

I like using mylar bags in association with buckets, this is the simplest and easiest way to store food long term. NOTE: Do not use O2 absorbers and Moisture aborbers in the same container unless in a high humidity area and then do not place in close proximity to one another or either wont work. These can be brought from Sorbent Systems or straight off Eprey. Eprey have deals where the bags and the correct size O2 aborbers are sold together. A 5 Gallon bag 4.3mm in thickness measuring 20 x 30 inches generally requires from 2x750cc=1500cc to 2000cc O2 absorbers.�

Generally 10 cups of wheat will make approximately 14 cups of flour. This depends on how fine you are grinding and the type of grinder being used.

10 cups of wheat makes 14 cups of flour

1 Litre = 1 Kilogram

4 cups per 1 litre/kilogram

60 cups per 15 litres/kilograms

60 cups of wheat should make 84 cups of flour or

42 loaves of bread per 15 litre bucket

Preserving Meat without Refrigeration

Preserving Meat without Refrigeration�

http://giles.freehostia.com/

        1. Preserving Techniques
          1. Salt Curing
            1. Brine / Pickle
            2. Dry Curing
          2. Smoking
            1. Cold
            2. Hot
          3. Drying
          4. Pickling
            1. Vinegar
            2. Sugar
          5. Combination Processes
        2. Storage Methods
          1. Dry Hanging / Storage
            1. Waxed / Sealed
            2. Oiled / Larded
            3. Spiced / Salted
          2. Wet Storage
            1. Brine
            2. Oil
            3. Pickle
        3. How Do I Do This
          1. Salting
          2. Smoking
          3. Drying
          4. Pickling
        4. Using the Preserved Product
          1. Consume As Is
          2. Cook As Is
          3. Freshen and Cook
        5. What Can Go Wrong
          1. Spoilage / No Guarantee
          2. Mold
          3. Health Risks
          4. Insects

Preserving Techniques�

Salt Curing�

Salt curing meat to preserve it is probably one of the oldest preservation techniques known to man.� This method of curing meat was known to the Romans, as well as smoking.� There exists a story that salt meat was important enough to the Romans that the senate once debated whether man could exist without it.� Salt curing preserved both raw and cooked meats, as well as poultry, game and fish.� Several receipts for salt curing exist from the Roman occupation to the end of period.� These receipts call for a variety of preparations of the meat, and a variety of curing mixtures.� One of the receipts from the 15th century even calls for the addition of �great salt of Peter�, or sodium nitrate, which is still used in modern food processing operations.�

Brine curing is the process that consists of soaking the raw or cooked meat in strong salt solution.� If multiple pieces of meat are brined in the same container, the meat is usually rearranged every couple of days to ensure consistent coverage.� Often the brine would contain spices other than salt to add flavor or to attempt to disguise the sometimes-heavy salt flavor of the meat.� After several days in the brine solution, also called a pickle, the meat is hanged until completely dry on the surface.� It can then be stored.� The shelf life of the finished product depends on many factors among which are the amount of meat to be processed, the strength of the pickle, and length of the brining process.� In many instances brine curing becomes a pre-process to another preservation method.�

Dry curing is the process of rubbing the raw or cooked meat with a dry salt mixture, and allowing the meat to stand for several days.� Often the salt rub is reapplied after a few days.� This may be repeated more than once.� The product is normally cured in a container that will drain, laid on a bed of the salt cure mixture.� The curing rub was often more than just salt.� Saltpeter was added as early as 400CE.� Many spices or sweeteners were used in the curing mixture, often in an attempt to cover the salty flavor of many of the foods preserved in this manner.�

A combination of brining and dry curing was also used.� Both of these methods were used with both raw and cooked meat, fish and poultry, whether domestic or game.� Both of the processes should be performed between the temperatures of 35�F and 50�F.� This means that unless some kind of refrigeration is employed this must be done at a time of the year when the nighttime low dips no lower than 32�F, and the daytime high is no greater the 53�F.�� If the temperature drops below 32�F the process is suspended.� If the temperature rises above 50�F there is an increased chance of spoilage during the curing process.� This 50�F high temperature becomes less important as the meat cures longer.� In many cases that is the end of the process; the preserved meat is then stored.� Often this was only the first step in a process that involved one or more of the other preservation techniques.�

The chemistry and biology (note I�m telling you what�s coming so you can skip this part if you want) of this is that most harmful bacteria, including the bacteria that cause botulism, cannot exist after the salt content gets so high, or when the water content of the meat gets so low.� Soaking the meat in a salt solution, or rubbing it with salt both causes the meat to assume the salt, and leaches moisture out of the meat.� Even meat cured in a pickle loses water weight during the curing process.� If the meat starts the curing process raw, it will still be raw when completed.� The curing process will not kill trichinosis or salmonella.� If the meat should be fully cooked before eating fresh, it should still be fully cooked after curing!

Smoking


Smoke as a preservative has probably been around as long as man has been eating meat.� A widely believed theory is that smoking was seen to improve both the flavor and the keeping qualities of meat as a side effect of it�s being hung above the fire to keep insects off.� As with many beneficial discoveries this was probably completely accidental, but would probably have been noticed because even our most primitive ancestors would have had an interest in preserving their food supply.� Although I have seen no period documentation of the processes used, there is evidence of smoked meat from the Roman occupation through the end of the 16th century.� This primarily appears in descriptions of Roman foods and orders and invoices for armies and in preparation for lengthy voyages where fresh supplies may be in short supply.�

Cold smoking is a process involving saturating the meat in smoke at a temperature of 75�F to 120�F.� Meat to be cold smoked is almost always at least partially cured before smoking.� In most cases it is fully cured before smoking.� The meat is usually hung or placed on racks, and smoked for days instead of hours.� Sometimes the process took place in special buildings for that particular purpose, sometimes strips of meat were hung around a fire, and sometimes meat was placed near the hearth or hung in the hearth or chimney where smoke from the cooking fire would pass.� The resulting product was either completely raw or only partially cooked.� When combined with salt curing this can result in a product that will remain edible and tasty for a year or longer without refrigeration, even under the worst conditions.� Cold smoking can be used for all meats, poultry, fish and game.�

Hot smoking is essentially the same process with temperatures in the range of 140�F to 200�F.� In many cases meat to be hot smoked is not cured, or is only slightly brined for the salty flavor, or to inhibit bacterial growth during the smoking process.� The meat is then hot smoked for several hours, cooking in the process.� These hot smoked products are usually intended for immediate (relatively) consumption, and will not keep like the fully cured, cold smoked variety.� In some cases the hot smoking process was also used to further dry the product in addition to flavoring and adding the smoke based preservatives, as with the famous double smoked red herring.� These meats are usually fully cured before smoking.�

In both processes the meat is usually completely dried on the surface before it is smoked.� In some cases cold smoking is followed by a period of hot smoking.� The smoking process, either cold or hot, flavors the meat, improves the shelf life and prevents attack by many insects that will infest meat that is only salt cured or not cured at all.� Virtually all manner of meat, fish, poultry, and game was smoked.� Many of today�s local specialty smoked food products, and smoked food names survive from the middle ages or earlier.�

Now we move to the science.� Smoking meat deposits the resins from the burning wood into the meat.� Many of these resins contain aldehydes.� These chemical compounds force the moisture out of the meat.� (Remember how your fingers dried out in biology class.)� This has a twofold effect; first, the aldehyde compounds themselves inhibit bacterial growth, and the lowering of the moisture content further slows bacterial growth.

Drying


Drying meat and fish as a preservation technique has been practiced for hundreds of years; possibly thousands in more arid areas.� In many communities along the Mediterranean coast meat and fish were suspended in nets above the roofs to dry in the sun.� Many early fishermen would clean and salt the daily catch, and hang it in the rigging until it was �hard as oak planks�.� In the Middle East and Africa dried meat very similar to modern jerky was produced.� Drying was most often done in the sun, but in regions where this was impractical special drying sheds were built to dry the meat with mild heat.�

Except in arid environments, meat to be dried was usually partially cured before drying.� In extreme dry areas the meat would dry before bacterial action could start.� In more humid climes partial curing was necessary to retard spoilage long enough to dry the meat enough that bacterial action could be inhibited.� To effectively dry meat and fish more processing of the raw meat is required.� Large pieces for raw flesh do not dry well unless hung for extended periods of time, which usually rendered the meat inedible.� So meats to be dried are cut or pulled into smaller pieces.� Often the size and shape of the prepared meat depended on its intended use.� If properly stored, dried meat and fish will keep indefinitely.�

Red meat and fish are the usual candidates for drying.� There is some evidence that the Chinese were smoking and drying duck before 500 BCE.� Dried meat products are excellent foodstuffs for travelers.� They are light in weight, and a small amount of the meat provides a large amount of protein, so less is consumed at each meal.� Small cubes and thick strips of dried meat can be reconstituted for use in soups and stews or noodle dishes. Thin strips are usually spiced in some manner when dried, with the intent that they be consumed in the dried state.�

Ok, here�s more of the scientific stuff.� As mentioned before, most harmful bacteria cannot exist when the moisture content of their environment gets too low.� Drying relies on this principle heavily.� The salting process prior to drying is usually only sufficient to protect the product during the drying process, and may be safely omitted if the meat is cut so that it will dry quickly, or spiced in some other manner to prevent bacterial growth.� After the process is complete, the lack of moisture is usually sufficient to normally inhibit bacterial growth indefinitely.

Pickling


Pickling is usually applied to preserving food by soaking in either heavy vinegar or sugar solutions.� The Egyptians have practiced this type of preservation for thousands of years.� Foods and bodies have been found preserved in honey in many Egyptian tombs.� Evidence of pickled meats can be found from pre-period Roman documents.� This technique was also widely applied to fresh fruits and vegetables.�

Vinegar pickling is accomplished by immersing the food in a strong vinegar solution.� The Romans pickled lamb and many pork by-products. Many of these are still available today.� One medieval pickling receipt adds a strong spice mixture, and claims that the process will work for meat, poultry, or game.� Most meat intended for pickling is cooked before the pickling process begins.� This keeps the vinegar pickle from assuming too much water from the meat, and as a result going rancid because of the lower acid content of the pickling solution.� Vinegar pickling was often used in areas where salt was unavailable or at a premium.� If stored properly foods pickled in vinegar will last for years, and in many cases will retain their natural color and texture.� Foods preserved in vinegar solutions have a very tart or acid flavor.� If spices are included in the pickling solution the food will readily pick up the additional flavors.�

Preserving in sugar, or honey, has been practiced in northern Africa, the Middle East, and the Orient for hundreds or thousands of years.� Although this method is used primarily for fruits, vegetables, and flowers, there is evidence that meat can also be preserved in strong sugar solutions.� There is a Roman recipe for preserving meat in honey.�

Behind the scenes, these processes do essentially the same thing as salting.� This is one of the reasons that they are grouped together.� Both of these processes leach the moisture from the food and replace is with components of the pickle, in this case vinegar, sugar, or spice.� Not only is the moisture content of the food decreased, it is also impregnated with a substance that resists bacterial growth.

Combination Processes


In many cases a combination of preserving techniques are used together on the same product.� Much of the time this is standard operating procedure, as in the case of most smoked meats and sausages.� Meat and fish are usually prepared for drying by first brining or salting the food.� In some cases these foods were also smoked before or during drying.� The same process would be applied repeatedly to certain products.� This is the case in the well-known red herring that traveled well through Europe through the 13th and 14th centuries.� This product was heavily salted, then hot smoked twice, until it was very dry.� This product was often still edible after more than two years, but reportedly tasted like �dried wood� after that length of time.

Storage Methods

Dry Hanging / Storage


Dry storage refers to the storage of a product at room temperature in a dry (relatively) environment.� This is the preferred storage method for many salt-cured, smoked, or dried meat and fish products and many sausages.� No, the processed meat was not just thrown on the shelf.� The meat was usually wrapped or stitched into a close fitting cloth sack.� Often this was not the only preparation to storage.� Many preserved products specifically target this storage method.� Fully cured hams can be wrapped in butcher�s paper and hung in a close fitting linen or muslin bag.� These hams will remain edible and tasty for two years or longer.� Dried meat and fish can survive for years if kept dry.� There are still many storage related problems.� Several enhancements to dry storage have been made throughout the years.�

Sealing is the act of preventing air contact with the preserved food product. Waxing food to be dry-stored enhances shelf life by sealing out air, and sealing in moisture.� This had the dual effect of inhibiting mold growth, and keeping the stored product moist and edible, both of which are problems with this type of storage.� This was usually done with cheeses, and later in the Middle Ages with fruit preserves.� Modern housewives still pour a layer of paraffin on top of each jar of homemade jelly and jam to inhibit mold growth.� The method would probably work with dry cured or smoked meats, but there is no evidence that this was ever tried.� Dry hung meats were sealed using other substances also.� Often salted and smoked meats were closely stitched into linen sacks, and painted with a lime wash.� The wash dried to a very thin cement-like coating, effectively sealing it from the air.� Potted meats were sealed with a layer of butter or lard in milder climates.�

Larding and oiling perform a function similar to waxing.� Applying a thin coating of oil or other grease that will not go rancid seals the product from the air and greatly reduces the risk of mold growth.� Oiling is not as effective against drying because the oil tends to dry which then allows air exposure.� This method was used primarily for smoked and salted meats.� The meat was larded before sacking, and usually required treatment again during extended storage.� Larding is a reasonably effective deterrent to mold but might attract insects.�

Spicing or salting the meat before hanging is also done as a deterrent to insects and mold.� Strong spices, such as pepper and mustard seed, are generally used, because of their repellent qualities.� These spices also perform better at inhibiting mold growth.� The meat is usually dredged in the cracked or very coarsely ground spice or spice mixture, then sacked and hung as usual.� The usual candidates for spicing are smoked and salted meats.� On occasion dried meats are spiced before drying to keep insects off during the drying process.� Spicing also adds flavor to the meat, especially after it has aged well.� Salt packing is the storage of salted meat or fish in crocks or barrels between layers of salt.� This storage method is generally used with salted fish and fatty pork products.� This is quite effective at preventing both insect attack and mold growth, and it will prevent the fats from going rancid for quite a long while.� It is also quite effective at rendering the meat inedible, especially after extended storage.� Salt packing can extend the shelf life of salt cured meats by years.

Wet Storage


Wet storage refers to the storage of preserved food in a liquid medium at room temperature.� This storage method is used for a very wide variety of preserved foods, including several preserved meats and fish.� Both salted and smoked meats were stored in liquids.�

Brine storage is immersing the preserved food in a strong salt solution.� The product must be fully immersed.� Storage in brine was usually reserved for brined or salted meats.� Foods stored in brine could last for several years, and would not dry out as much as those packed in salt.� These foods would still suffer from too much salt content after extended storage, rendering them as inedible as those packed in salt dry.� Storing meat in brine requires some maintenance.� Because the container is not sealed the brine might turn rancid after a time.� To prevent this, and to redistribute the meat within the solution, the meat is unpacked, the brine boiled and strained, and replenished if necessary, and the meat is repacked in the brine.� This is also done at any sign of mold or off odor.�

Oiling and larding are processes that seal the preserved food from contact with the air.� Smaller pieces of salted or smoked seafood or meat were immersed in a variety of oils or covered with melted lard or butter.� The oil or lard should completely cover the preserved food, leaving no air pockets.� This would allow trapped microorganisms to multiply and start spoilage.� Jars and crocks of oil stored foods were often also sealed with a piece of leather or waxed cloth tied close about the opening, or the opening was plugged with a piece of cork.� Later bottles and jars were available with a close fitting lid or stopper.� Smoked and salted foods stored in oil often lasted for years, and were usually still quite edible after lengthy storage.� This is very similar in concept to sealing as previously discussed.�

Preserved foods stored in a pickle are usually stored in a strong vinegar solution.� When completely immersed these foods are also sealed from contact with the air.� Foods to be stored in this manner are usually pickled first, and then simply left in the pickling solution for storage.� Often the container was sealed for storage.� Preserved foods stored in a pickling solution will often remain in good eating condition for years.

How Do I Do This

OK, here goes.� If you try this, and someone gets sick or worse, I am not responsible.� The author will assume no liability for any failure when using any of the food preservation, or storage techniques outlined.� All responsibility falls to the person performing the preservation and storage.

Salting


Most red meat, pork, fowl, game and fish can be successfully salt cured.� Red meat and pork can be either dry salted or brined.� Fowl is usually brined, and fish is usually dry salted.� Salt curing meat and fish must be done during cool temperatures or under refrigeration.� If the temperature gets too high there is a great risk of spoilage, and if the temperature gets too low the curing process is suspended.� The optimal temperature for curing with salt is between 35� F and 45� F.� Temperatures lower than 32� F or higher than 50� F should be avoided.�

A basic curing salt can be made with 1 pound of pickling or kosher salt and a teaspoon of saltpeter.� Do not use table salt, iodized or otherwise.� The smaller granules tend to impede the flow of moisture out of the meat, and the ability of the meat to assume salt.� The saltpeter can be omitted but shelf life and product color may suffer.� This cure may be directly applied to the meat or mixed into a quart of water to make brine.� Sugar cures can be made by replacing up to � of the salt with about twice as much amount of sugar, or brown sugar in dry cures.� Liquid sweeteners, such as honey, molasses, or maple syrup can be used to make sweet cure brines.� Be careful not to replace too much salt.� This can lead to improper curing and spoilage.� Many herbs and spices can be added to cures and brines.� These additions can add considerable flavor to the preserved meat, but have little effect on the quality of the cure.�

Although the cure itself remains mostly unchanged, the process and curing time vary greatly depending on the food being cured and the size of the pieces.� As a general rule, fish, less fatty fowl, and game will cure in shorter periods of time; fowl containing more fat will finish next; less fatty meats like beef and lamb will take somewhat longer; and fatty meats like pork take longest to cure.� There is very little difference in the curing time required for dry curing versus brining.�

To dry cure fish, scale but do not skin the fish and split or fillet the fish.� If the fish is split remove the backbone except enough near the tail to provide some rigidity.� Lay the fish skin side down on a bed of salt about �� deep.� Cover this layer of fish with �� of salt.� Place the next layer of fish skin side up on top of the first.� Cover this layer of fish with �� of salt.� This is continued until all of the fish have been added to the stack.� Fillets � inch thick will cure in 6 to 10 days.� Thicker fillets will take longer; about 1-2 days per � inch.� Fillets greater that 1� inches should not be dry cured due to the greater risk of spoilage.� Dry cured fish is normally packed in salt or dried for storage.�

Brining fish takes a little more attention.� Make the brine using the basic salt cure.� Prepare the fish as for dry curing.� Put the fish in the brine, leaving plenty of space.� If the fish floats to the surface, place sufficient weight on the fish to force it under the curing brine.� Curing times are about the same as dry curing.� The brine should be agitated daily to ensure that all of the fish is properly exposed to the brine.� Brine cured fish can be stored as dry cured fish.� It is not advised to store the fish in brine, but brined fish can be stored in oil after the surface has dried completely.� It will become mushy in time.� Most brine-cured fish will eventually be smoked.�

Dry salt curing pork, beef, or other red meats works best for larger cuts of meat such as pork hams or shoulders, lamb leg, or ��round beef roast, but can be used for smaller cuts also.� Avoid trying to cure pieces too large because they may spoil before curing is complete.� Dry curing meat requires about a cup to a cup and a half of curing salt per pound of meat.� Rub each piece with about � of the salt required for that piece of meat.� Place the meat in a cool dry place well protected from insects and animals for 4-5 days, and not touching the walls of the container or other pieces of meat.� After this time rub the meat with the remaining cure mixture and replace.� If the pieces are very large, greater than 7� at the smallest part, rub with an additional � pound of cure after 5 days.� If boneless the meat should cure for 5 days per inch of breadth at the narrowest part, or 7 days per inch if the meat contains a bone.� Rinse off the excess salt with fresh water, allow to air dry and store.�

To cure these meats in brine, make basic brine from your curing mixture, and immerse the meat in the brine.� Make sure that the meat us fully immersed in the brine.� The meat should remain in the brine for 48 hours per pound, if boneless.� If the meat contains bone it should be cured for an additional 12 hours per pound.� If multiple pieces are cured in the same container the meat should be removed from the brine and repacked every couple of days to ensure equal coverage by the brine.� Curing should be extended by 12 hours per pound in this case also.� If the brine should start to turn rancid, remove the meat and rinse in fresh water.� Boil the brine to kill the contaminant, replace water lost while boiling, and replenish the brine, if necessary.� After the brine has cooled repack the meat in the brine and continue curing.� After curing is complete the meat should be rinsed in fresh water and hung to air dry, unless it will be stored in the brine.�

The preferred method for salt curing fowl is brining, though dry curing is possible.� To brine fowl immerse the bird in sufficient brine to cover completely.� Make sure that the body cavity is filled with solution, and that the bird is weighted to keep it under the brine.� The bird should remain in the brine for 30-48 hours per pound, depending on the fat on the bird, the strength of the brine solution and whether the meat is to be processed further.� Fowl with higher fat content, like duck and goose, will take longer to properly cure because the fat doesn�t absorb the curing solution as readily as meat.� If fat poultry is improperly cured the fat will soon turn rancid, and the meat will quickly follow.� After curing is complete the bird should be rinsed in fresh water and hung to air dry, unless it will be stored in the brine.�

Dry salting whole fowl is nearly impossible because of the shape and cavities.� If the bird is split or cut up this presents less of a problem.� Small birds are better candidates for dry salting.� The bird should be rubbed well with curing mix, and laid on a bed of the same mixture.� Cure the fowl for about 4 days per inch of meat thickness.� Rinse off the excess cure with fresh water, allow to air dry and store.� I do not suggest doing this.� It is only presented for completeness.� If the cure is not well distributed over the entire surface of the meat, it may not cure properly.� Because of the unusual shape of cleaned poultry this is usually the case.

Smoking


Meat, fowl, fish, and game to be smoked must be salted sufficiently to at least resist bacterial growth during the smoking process.� This is particularly important during cold smoking, which is performed at optimal temperatures for bacterial growth.� Often smoked meats are fully cured before smoking.� The length of the curing process is determined by the anticipated storage time and often by personal preference and taste.� The cure used on the meat will often contain sweeteners, spices and other flavoring agents.� The length of smoking time is also a matter of personal preference in many cases.� When smoking to cure taste is less of a consideration; the food must be smoked sufficiently to deposit the curing agents supplied by the smoke.� Smoke cured meats are smoked much more heavily than those produced today for the smoke flavor alone.�

Smoke curing is done at low temperatures, 75�F to 120�F.� If the temperature gets too high the meat will start to cook and caseharden.� This cooks and seals the surface of the meat, and as a result decreases the amount of smoke preserving agents that can be absorbed by the food product.� While fully or partially cooking the product while smoking may be the eventual aim, the food must be cured at low temperatures, only after curing is complete should the temperature get high enough to actually cook the food product.�

Pork, red meats, and game meats other than fowl should be cold smoked for at least 6 to 24 hours per inch of breadth at the narrowest point.� The time per inch in the smoker is dependant upon the density of the smoke and to a degree on personal preference.� If the smoke is very dense (meat is nearly obscured by only a six inch curtain of smoke) exposure for 6 hours per inch of meat should be sufficient.� However light smoke (the meat is obscured at 2-3 feet) would require 24 hours or more per inch.� Animal skin or a thick layer of fat covering most of the meat surface will retard the absorption of the curing agents.� Smoking times should be doubled for these meats.� A whole, skin covered ham, about 10� across might be in the smokehouse as long as 3 weeks.� For normal smoking the surface of the meat should be air dried before smoking is begun.� The meat will either be hung in the smoke chamber or laid on a rack, depending on the configuration of the smoking equipment and the cut of meat.�

Poultry and game fowl should be cold smoked for 12 to 24 hours per inch of thigh or breast depth, whichever is greater.� Fatty birds such as duck and goose should be well cured before smoking because the fat in the meat resists penetration of the curing agents carried in the smoke.� Ideally fowl should hang by the wings when smoking.� This allows smoke to pass freely through the body cavity, and it allows moisture to drain during smoking.� If necessary, fowl can be smoked on a rack lying on their back.� If this is the case make sure that the body cavity remains open to allow smoke passage through the cavity, and hang the bird to drain well before storage.�

Very little fish is cold smoked; salmon and herring are processed this way.� Cold smoked fish is processed between 75�F and 100�F for 4 to 12 hours.� The fish must be sufficiently cured to resist spoilage during the smoking process.� If the temperature rises above 100�F, the fish will start to cook, and may caseharden.� This will retard the smoking process.� Unless fully cured cold smoked fish will only keep for several days unless refrigerated.� Under refrigeration smoked fish will often keep for 3 weeks or more.�

Some fish can be hot smoked at temperatures ranging from 140�F to 180�F.� This is usually done with salted herring or a similar fish, or small (under 5�) whole fish like anchovy and shiner sardines.� This process cooks the fish while smoking.� Smoking times and smoke density vary greatly depending on the intended product, but will usually range from 2 hours to 2-3 days.� Fish destined for the hot smoker should be fully cured unless it is to be eaten immediately or stored under refrigeration.� Most hot smoked fish is intended to be dry stored, sometimes in oil.�

A third process for smoking fish, called kippering, involves cold smoking the fish for several hours, then hot smoking for sufficient time to cook, or partially cook, the fish.� This is usually done with fatter or oilier fish such as herring, trout, and salmon.� Depending on the desired end product and fish being used the fish may be only lightly salted or fully cured.� The lightly salted varieties should be eaten immediately, or stored under refrigeration.� Fully cured kippers can be dry stored or packed in oil.

Drying


The process of drying for preservation is primarily used for red meats, game meats, sausages, and fish.� Some oriental cultures will dry smoked duck and other waterfowl.� Unless previously processed meat or fish that will be dried should be cured sufficiently to resist spoilage during the drying process.� Because much of the meat to be dried is sliced quite thin curing times are often significantly reduced, often to only hours.� Often meats that will be dried are smoked first.� Some recipes even call for the product to be cooked before drying.�

Meats that will be dried should be cut into strips no more than �� thick, or cubes about 1� square.� The prepared meat should be cured sufficiently to inhibit spoilage during the drying process.� Usually 6 to 12 hours is enough.� A variety of spices may be added to the cure, depending on the intended use of the dried meat.� After curing the meat may be rubbed with additional spice, or smoked, or both before it is dried.� Fish should be fully cured before drying.�

In dry climes the product can be sun dried.� This is not the case for most of us.� Alternative methods include oven or commercial food driers, drying in a smoker at low temperatures, and drying near an open flame.� Drying times will vary depending on the size of the pieces, and on the drying method chosen.�

Sun drying is recommended only for thin slices of meat and fish fillets.� Meat should be laid on a rack and placed in the sun.� It should remain there until nearly all of the moisture has been removed from the meat.� The time will vary according to the relative humidity.� If the product must be dried for more than one day take care to protect it from dewfall.� When it is done it will be leathery and crack when bent or folded.� Fish fillets should be hung in the sun to dry.� Again the time will vary with relative humidity.� Fish should be dried completely.� It will resemble wood when done.� In less arid climes oven or smoke drying is the preferred method.� Heat the oven or smoker to 100�F to 120�F; place the meat into the oven or smoker on racks, and dry until done as above.� Make sure that the oven door is left slightly open or that there is good flow through the smoker to evacuate the moist air.� This should take between 12 and 24 hours, depending on whether the meat is sliced or cubed.

Pickling


Pickling is accomplished by soaking the meat in a strong vinegar, honey, or sugar solution.� Both acid and sugar have the property of inhibiting bacterial growth.� Red meat, fowl, and fish can be successfully pickled.� To pickle, the meat should be cut into smaller pieces or sliced, and immersed in the pickling solution.� The meat must remain in the solution until it is permeated with either sugars or acids, and should be kept at lower temperatures (35�F to 45�F) until pickling is complete to avoid bacterial contamination.� The time required depends on the size of the pieces or thickness of the slices.� It may be either raw or cooked, however most pickling receipts call for the meat to be cooked first.�� Normally, pickled meats are stored in the pickle until used.�

When pickling in vinegar, the vinegar should have at least 6% acid content.� This is stronger than standard white or cider vinegar.� Check the specialty vinegars, or vinegars sold at gourmet shops.� Sugar pickles should contain at least 50% sugar by weight.� Honey pickles should be 100% honey, with only seasoning agents added.� Sugar and honey pickles are not very popular for meats because the flavor of the end product can be somewhat alien to the modern palate.

Using the Preserved Product

Consume As Is


Eat the preserved product without further preparation.� This is usually done with dried red meats safe to consume raw, or kippered meat or fish.� Most preserved meats used in this manner are intended for such consumption.

Cook As Is


The salted, smoked, or pickled meat can be taken directly from storage into the cooking pot.� This will often result in a dish that tastes strongly of salt, smoke or vinegar.� Carefully selecting receipts for the use of these meats will help with this problem by providing ingredients that either compliment or hide the flavor left by the preserving process.� This also allows for the option of leaving out the ingredients supplied by the preserved meats.� (Use pickled meat in a receipt that calls for vinegar or verjuice, and leave out the vinegar.)

Freshen and Cook


This is probably the most common method of using the preserved meat.� This involves soaking the meat in fresh water to reconstitute it and to remove some of the salt, vinegar, or smoke resins.� The meat should be soaked for 24 to 36 hours, sometimes longer.� In some cases the soak is changed several times to keep the water as fresh as possible.� This is not for fear that the water would turn, but to attempt to remove as much of the preserving agent as possible.� The meat is then used as fresh meat, adjusting the spice as required due to the flavor of remaining preservative.� Many dried meats and fish treated in this manner are hard to distinguish from fresh.

What Can Go Wrong

Spoilage / No Guarantee


Remember, there is no guarantee!� Although these are proven methods, there is no guarantee that any preserved food product will not spoil.� Learn to detect spoiled preserved food.� In many cases this is difficult due to the odors of the preserving agents.� Insufficient treatment and improper storage can both lead to food spoilage.� Learn to detect rancid or sour storage brines.� Often the meat can still be salvaged.� Rinse the meat in fresh water and if it smells good after that, repack it in brine.� Boil the brine to kill the infection, and replenish if necessary.� Many types of raw meat also carry disease.� If the meat was not cooked during the preserving process it is still raw!� If cooking is required it should be cooked.

Mold


Many molds will grow on hanging meats.� Most are harmless.� Mold is usually a result of improper storage, which often cannot be avoided.� If hanging salted or smoked meat is found to have molded, the mold can be scrubbed off using a stiff brush and a strong vinegar solution.� The meat can then be safely used.� I have found this solution to molded, cured meat in both period and modern references.� Oiling and larding can retard or prevent mold growth.

Health Risks


In addition to the other problems there can be other risks involved in using preserved meat and fish, depending on the method of preservation.� The most obvious risk is the high salt content of salt cure meat.� This can be a considerable risk to those with heart disease, arteriosclerosis, or high blood pressure.� There is often a high salt content in smoked and dried meat and fish.� Many cures include saltpeter or sodium nitrate.� This substance is suspect as a carcinogen.� Many of the preserving agents in wood smoke, the aldehydes, are suspected as carcinogens also.� One of these preserving agents is formaldehyde.� Today we can weigh these risks and decide; our ancestors had no choice.

Insects


There are a few insects that will infest or attack preserved meats.� Most are deterred by the salt or smoke.� Among those that will attack cured meats are the cheese skipper, mites, ham beetle, and larder beetle.� The skipper larva bores into meat and cheese leaving slime and rot in the infested area.� These are a yellowish color, and are about 1/3� long when fully grown.� The two-winged adult fly is about 1/8� long.� Mites feed on the surface, giving it a powdery appearance.� Since these do not fly, they are usually carried by other insects.� Both the adult ham beetle and its larvae bore through cured meat causing rot.� The larva is a purple color and about 1/3� long.� The adult beetle is a bright green-blue color with red legs and is about �� long.� Larder beetle larvae are a fuzzy brown color, and are about 1/3� long when full grown.� They feed on the surface or just below, and do not cause the meat to rot.� The adult beetle is about 1/3� long and is dark brown with a yellowish band across its back.�
Eastman, Wilbur, Canning, Freezing, Curing & Smoking Meat, Fish & Game (North Adams, MA; Storey, 2002)�

Erlandson, Kieth, Home Smoking and Curing (London; Ebury, 1997)�

Flower, B. & Rosenbaum, E., The Roman Cookery Book (London; Harrap, 1958)

(Apicius, Re de Coquinaria, circa 300)�

Friedman, David, Cariadoc�s Miscellany (http://www.pbm.com/~lindahl/cariadoc/miscellany.html)�

Holm, Don, Food Drying, Pickling and Smoke Curing (Caldwell, ID; Caxton, 1992)�

Sheppard, Sue, Pickled, Potted, and Canned (New York; Simon & Schuster, 2000)�

Anonymous, Curye on Inglysch, (circa. 1390)(London; Early English Text Society, 1985)�

Welserin, Sabina, Das Kochbuch der Sabina Welserin, (1553) (Heidelberg, C. Winter, 1980)

Urban Escape and Evasion Kit Contents

By Budda

The below items Ive gradually purchased and have attempted to test most, or still in the process of doing so. Still aquiring several of the blades which can add up in price. However, so far Ive come to several conclusions/observations. The first is its not worth having all your eggs in one basket. Its better to have items doubled up or spread out over several ways to avoid detection. Everything hidden, in say a belt can be found and lost at one time. Having items spread over several pieces of clothing or in layers of equipment have more chance of the possibilty if one or two items are discovered then the others may skip through a search. Depending on how professional the search has been completed. For example, having several sets of keys not just one pair. Hide them in several pieces of clothing. Belt, vest, shoes etc. This also helps if your bound into a position where you cant reach your main stash of gear.

This goes the same when dealing with handcuffs. The training standard of the detainer and not the victim will determine the technique used to escape. Everyone I spoke to with a decent amount of extended use of or advanced training will double lock handcuffs when an offender has been subdued, without exception. Leaving out the use of shims that only work if the cuffs are not double locked. Someone grabbing a person off the street without any training will not tend to spend the extra time double locking especially if a victim is struggling erratically or using quality model cuffs. A shim comes in handy in that circumstance to escape quicker by slipping between the teeth of the cuffs than to try and pick a lock for example and better kept near a surface point in the seam of clothing rather than stashed in a more hidden way designed for prolonged concealment for easy reach.

If dealing with better trained personnel such as either Federal agencies or Corrections services. They will not only use more extensive search procedures but will also use two sets of two different brands of cuffs, requiring two completely different sets of keys for prisoner transfers.

The Tatonka brand belt is the only model I found with a large 300mm/12inch pouch. The others only had rather small storage areas. This belt is also designed for every day use and not as a duty belt. Coming from a security background and not a military one. Ive always used belt keepers to hold my heavier duty belt to my lighter weight under belt. This way my pants stay up. From this perspective if captured a duty belt would be the first piece of clothing/equipment removed from my person. An under belt holding up my pants has less chance of being removed.

Ceramic blades have advantages and disadvantages. They will pass through metal detectors, however most styles out there are brittle. The smaller ones offered are 1/4 the size of a standard razor blade. I have small hands and found them difficult to use. They seem designed for professionals only, that require a last chance blade that can be concealed within a seam of clothing to avade an electronic scan. Very difficult to use as a weapon. The larger stanley blades are thin and will avoid a pat down but too brittle to keep concealed for long periods of time without expecting them to shatter if any pressure is applied to where they are stored. Such as a belt which will always be bending with movement and weight applied.

The smaller wire saws are once again designed for profesional use, where they are sown into seams of clothing. Id rather buy a larger version of the commando saws and cut one down to a 12 inch length to conceal within a belt or keep a full length version and sow into the lower seam of a vest. Much easier to cut with from a civillians standpoint. Just use layers of shrink wrap as a gripping surface once the handles are removed.

Mini pry bars are more likely to be found in a search but invaluable prying open anything unless wanting to loose fingernails.The smaller model the better for concealment purposes. Three different sizes are now made. The 2″ pico for belt concealment. The 3″ micro for key ring use and the 4″ pocket for inclusion within a vest. Once again using a layering system of tools.

The ability to start a fire is invaluable, wether to provide shelter or as a diversion tactic. A compass for direction, if being dumped in an unkown location and a small light if confined within dark spaces are self explainatory.

If not using handcuffs, then the next most likely choice for a restraint are flexi cuffs. The standard sort sold in hardware stores can easily be opened with a stiff piece of wire such as a paperclip inserted between the teeth. The better made brands designed for security personel by such companies as Manadnock have a covering over the locking mechanism and require cutting off. Ive found two tools that are capable of cutting either flexi cuffs or thin rope. The first was a rescue seat belt cutter made by the Colonial knife Company. This was the smallest model I could find. However without modifing, will not fit into a belt but can be concealed within a vest or hung from around the neck. The second was an accessory tool for a SOG multi tool which can fit into a smaller area. These need to have a piece of paracord large enough to wrap around a foot tied to the eyelet to be effective. Theres no way you can cut through a flexicuff using hands only, when restrained. Removing the inner core will flatten the cordage further.

Ive discovered that I have to be the worse lock picker on the planet. Still learning that skill. The Bagota Picks require only two picks to be used, however there are small credit card types that make a great secondary hidaway within a wallet. Along with larger credit card blades made by Microtech. This once again layers your tools.

Cordage, the hardest item to come across in the wilderness, let alone tied up in the boot of a vehicle. Many uses for having a supply of line. From a fishing line to trip wires, booby traps, snares, early warning system to twisting into a heavier line to form a garrotte. 20 foot spools of twisted Kevlar can be purchased.The difference between kevlar and dacron in archery terms, are that dacron line is a 1/3 of the price for a spool and used for bow strings on long bows and recurves. Kevlar is used exclusily on compounds having a higher breaking strain. Both are thinner than paracord with the similar strength properties.

Jigglers, bump keys and door knives are the lazy mans way of getting into locks without learning the skill of picking. These are items well worth looking into. They add another layer of tools and require less effort of use with faster results.

Selecting blades for an E&E kit has several legalities and intents. Is a cutting edge only required or a weapon. Are a materials that pass through metal detectors needed. A pen that just happens to be made from solid aluminium is a legal carry although it can still be used as a kubaton. A titanium/timber chopstick is still a legal carry although it can be used as a spike. Intent would need to be proved. Small blades concealed within a belt along with other items used for E&E would need to have intent proved that they were intended for anything other purpose, even though they have the potential of severing a Jugular vein or carotid artery. A jugular carrying deozygenated blood away from the head. A Carotid carrying oxygenated to the head.

I decided against the main cutting tool made from a non-metalic material. They are primarily designed for stabbing. I do own many and carry several as a layering system, but wanted a primary blade as a cutter for removing bindings. I also found that many of the other items carried within the belt are also metal based. Carrying a non-metalic blade seemed of little use when carrying in approximation to other metallic items. These would be better suited to other hideaway locations.

Small edges such as a standard Safety Razor Blade, Atwood Micro Card, TOPS Alert 01, Titanium Dog-Tag knives are easy to conceal within a belt, around your neck or within pockets and fall into this catagory. Blades that are good for the next level up from there are the necker/boot style designs with skeletal grips to fall flatter against clothing. Such as an Emerson La Griffe, Benchmade Tether, or Mission knives titanium MPU/MBK. These are small and light enough for concealment purposes but very effective as fighters.

Tatonka TEC Belt – 42mm width with a 300mm/12inch inside storage pouch.

http://www.jpt-australia.com/utility_tac_belts.htm

Products being Tested

Nylon Universal Handcuff Key

for Smith and Peerless Cuffs (will not fit ADI Saf-Loks)

ADI Saf-Lok Handcuff key

Handcuff Shim

1�� Spring Steel Shim works most universal handcuffs. The shim slides between the ratchet and the teeth to quickly release the cuff. Works only when cuffs are single- locked.

Ceramic Razor blade

Zirconia ceramic razor blades are extremely hard, sharp, and wear resistant and can last up to 100 times longer than conventional steel blades. Black single edge razor 25 x 8 mm

Diamond Wire blade

70mm diamond wire cutting is the process of using wire impregnated with diamond dust of various sizes to cut through materials. Because of the hardness of diamonds, this cutting technique can cut through almost any material that is softer than the diamond abrasive. Cuts stainless steel, iron bars and chain.

http://serekit.com/sere_004.htm

http://serepick.com/?page_id=69

Wire Saw

http://www.kitbag.com.au/prod738.htm

Solkoa Grip-S

http://www.fast-fire.com/index.php?p=products&prod=4

Widgy Pocket Pry Bar

http://www.endtimesreport.com/survival_shop.html#Micro

Mini match Ferrocium Rod and Spark-lite

Fire Starting

The Spark-lite has less metal material in its construction and can be used one handed.

http://www.bepreparedtosurvive.com/FirestarterProducts.htm

Colonial Knife Company Rescue Hook

http://www.knifecenter.com/kc_new/store_detail.html?s=CLTCBLK

SOG V Cutter

http://sogknives.com/store/500-105.html

These are used as a substitute flexi cuff cutter. A small loop of paracord can be placed under/around a boot and used for leverage, while both hands cannot be utilized.

Bogota Pick/Rake Set

http://serepick.com/?page_id=69

Bogota Rakes

Very few of the common pick shapes around today can be traced back to an original designer, but this cannot be said of the Bogota Rakes. These picks were developed by Ray Conners based in Minneapolis, MN. These rakes have been found to be so exceptionally effective that they deserve special mention when discussing rakes. Ray has published detailed instructions on their construction so the home toolmaker can make them also. These plans can be found on a popular online lock picking discussion forum at www.lockpicking101.com.

Aside from being effective, the economy of design is quite remarkable. A set of two picks includes a Bogota Rake and Bogota Pick (modeled much like a half diamond). The handle end of each tool doubles as a tension wrench, allowing the user to be prepared to open many locks with just these two tools alone.

The Bogota Rake is best used, as Ray describes, with a �jittery motion�, as though the user had consumed too much coffee. As odd as this might sound, the rakes have been found to be strikingly effective on many common pin tumbler locks by a large number of both hobbyists and professionals alike. The rakes are particularly effective against locks with a high/low bitting � something many types of rakes cannot claim.

http://lockpickernetwork.wikidot.com/understanding-raking

Cash/Phone Card

$50 Small denominations.

Garrotte

Made from several layers of Bow string Dacron. Can be used as a garotte by adding makeshift grips twisted through the loops or as a defensive tool against a blade in the same way as a sarong for locks, throws and takedowns. Approx 18-20 inch center with 4 inch end loops. The serving or wrap can be removed to leave several metres of heavy duty dacron cordage that can be used for fishing line, trip wires, early warning system, improvised restraints, etc.

Photon Micro Light LED

Button Compass

http://www.bepreparedtosurvive.com/NavigationProducts.htm

Cordage

Kevlar spooled 20 feet

http://serepick.com/?page_id=69

Blades being tested

Micro tech Credit Card Knife

3.4″x2.1″ Titanium

To be kept in wallet.

http://www.knifecenter.com/kc_new/store_detail.html?s=MTASSCII

Atwood Micro Card Knives

�1.5″x1″x1/8th (3.5mm) S30V steel

http://www.atwoodknives.com/home/19351627.php

BK Johnson knives Medium sized Credit Card blade

�2″x1.5″x3/32″ (2mm) 01 steel

Custom Order $40 USD

http://www.bkjohnsonknives.com/

TOPS Alert#01 1095 steel

http://www.topsknives.com/product_info.php?cPath=1&products_id=1

Cold Steel FGX Nightshade Series Knives

Polymer re-enforced fibreglass, no metal present.

http://www.coldsteel.com/nightshadeseries.html

Custom Order version of a Extrema Ratio Shrapnel/CRKT Sting

Made from 10mm G10 Micarta Knife Handle Material from local knife maker

Ceramic Stanley Razor Blades

http://www.ceramicknife.org/index.html

Tops NUK

http://www.topsknives.com/advanced_search_result.php?keywords=nuk&search_in_description=1

Benchmade Tether

http://www.benchmade.com/products/13212

Emerson La Griffe

http://www.knifecenter.com/kc_new/store_store.html?ttl=Emerson%20La%20Griffe&srch=eqCATE%20CODEdatarq%3Dem%26eqKEYWORDdatarq%3Dlagriffe

Mission Knives MBK/MPU 4″ titanium

http://www.knifecenter.com/kc_new/store_detail.html?s=MK701

Dog-Tag Knives

http://originaldogtagknife.com/

Alternate Carry Items

Titanium Chopstix

http://www.tistix.com/cart/

Mil-Tac Pens

http://store.mil-tac.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWCATS&Category=38

Foster Brother Saps and Jacks

http://www.mercop.com/docs/bag6.htm

Kubatons

http://www.alphainnovationsselfdefense.com/

Nok Peregrine

http://noktrainingknives.webs.com/nokperegrine.htm

Downloads

How to Escape from Smith/Peerles Handcuffs

http://www.wikihow.com/Escape-from-Handcuffs

Lock Picking Youtube

http://www.metacafe.com/watch/788366/lock_picking_for_beginners/

PDF Downloads

http://www.freewebs.com/lockwhiz/tutorialsdownloads.htm

Lock Picking 101 Forum

http://www.lockpicking101.com/

Make Your Own Lock Picks

http://www.h-i-r.net/2008/07/make-your-own-lock-picks-part-1.html

Bomb Shock Downloads

http://www.bombshock.com/lock_picking/

Links

Bump keys

http://www.bumpkey.us/

Jiggler Keys

http://www.lockpicks.com/browseproducts/Generic-Jiggler-Key-Set-(Stainless).html

Credit Card Pick Set

http://www.defensedevices.com/lock-pick-credit-card-set.html

Door Knife

http://www.defensedevices.com/quik-pik-shove-knife-door.html

Padlock Shims

http://www.defensedevices.com/padlock-shims.html

Auto Jiggler

http://www.defensedevices.com/auto-jiggler-key.html

Unique Titanium

http://www.uniquetitanium.com/

Key Screw Drivers

http://www.endtimesreport.com/survival_shop.html

Solkoa� Products

http://www.fast-fire.com/index.php?p=products&prod=4

Survival Straps Belt

http://www.survivalstraps.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=SS-BELT

Wallet Size Picks

http://www.catsdomain.com/locksmith/ls06.htm

Training

Roth Tactics and Solutions (NZ)

http://roth.yolasite.com/

ISR Matrix (Australia)

http://www.isrmatrixaustralia.com/

ISR Matrix (International)

http://www.isrmatrix.org/

Urban Survival Training (US)

http://www.readyforanything.org/

On point Tactical – Urban SERE Courses and Forum (US)

http://www.onpointtactical.com/

Jim Wagner Reality Based (US)

http://www.jimwagnertraining.com/servicesoffered.html

Edged Weapons Solutions AMOK (International)

http://www.edgedweaponsolutions.com/

Urban Operations

Urban Operations. UO are operations planned and conducted in an area of operations (AO) that includes one or more urban areas. An urban area consists of a topographical complex where man-made construction or high population density is the dominant feature. UO usually occur when�

  • ��������������������� The assigned objective lays within an urban area and cannot be bypassed.
  • ��������������������� The urban area is key (or decisive) in setting and or shaping the conditions for current or future operations.
  • ��������������������� An urban area is between two natural obstacles and cannot be bypassed.
  • ��������������������� The urban area is in the path of a general advance and cannot be surrounded or bypassed.
  • ��������������������� Political or humanitarian concerns require the control of an urban area or necessitate operations within it.
  • ��������������������� Defending from urban areas supports a more effective overall defense or cannot be avoided.
  • ��������������������� Occupation, seizure, and control of the urban area will deny the threat control of the urban area and the ability to impose its influence on both friendly military forces and the local civilian population. Therefore, friendly forces can retain the initiative and dictate the conditions for future operations.

Axe, Buck Saw and Knife within a BOB

The relationship between an Axe, Buck Saw and knife within a BOB.

By Budda

What do you carry in a BOB? An axe, a collapsible bucksaw or a large knife and how do they relate to one another in their use. I’ll first state, that I don�t claim to be an expert in cutting trees with an axe. I have cut trees for 15 years with a chainsaw and am still not an expert. (Ex-sperts after all, are drips under pressure). I have developed a talent for using a chainsaw though and have learnt a thing or two over the years.

You may not need all three items depending on the environment that you�re in. Very little use for either three, in the middle of a sandy desert and machetes are the main item of choice, for use with in a jungle. I may also find that it�s not worth dropping large branches when camping. The more work you do, the more calories are used. When on a limited calorie intake, its possible to starve by simply using more calories than you replace.

They�re usually easier ways of breaking branches than with a tool. For example; using leverage between two trees or letting the fire burn a branch in two pieces, or simply snapping a dry branch over a rock, rather than spend time trying to cut it. These can also be safer methods as well, to avoid flying pieces of timber to the face.

To cut a tree down is usually performed in order to supply large amounts of firewood in colder climates. This wont be a detailed how to cut a tree article, just how an axe a saw work in conjunction with one another. Firstly you cut the front wedge in the direction of where you want the trunk to fall, with the axe. The tree usually decides this, not you. As many may think. The way it grows, the wind direction, how many branches place weight on one side, the lean, what�s in the way of it falling, etc, etc.

The back cut can be the tricky bit. If done with an axe, there is less control of the cut and the rate of fall. By using a saw, more control is established. You�re not cutting a large wedge, just a small line to split the trunk. A saw also cuts in smaller increments. When the split is about to appear, it�s simply a matter of a slight shove and letting the weight of the tree do the rest, while you are well out of the way.

Most books also show cutting the back cut as a level cut. I always use a slight angle. I was once cutting a large tree off a double laned road that had dropped during a storm. The only part left was a trunk, 8 feet tall and between 3.5 to 4 foot diameter. I did everything to the letter, but sensed something was wrong and stepped away to grab some wedges in order to support the back cut, just to be on the safe side. As I stepped away the stump twisted 180 degrees and landed where I was standing. Not due to the cuts but the way the tree had grown and the pressure from the twist in the trunk from 500 years of growth. Something that big can fall in any direction from a mistake in the cut but not twist an entire 180 degrees on its axis. You simply have to be a few inches off with either the front wedge or back cut for anything unexpected to happen. You can�t always fix a cut half way through a job to avoid the consequences.

By doing the back cut at a slight angle, there is less chance of the tree twisting. As it needs to push against itself due to the cut. I wont go into how to adjust that angle with a bow saw. I usually alter the grip on a chainsaw slightly to achieve the correct method. I’d have to show someone in person and wouldn�t attempt to explain how to do it in an article.

After a tree has been dropped, the axe is once again used to limb the tree. To remove any branches that may get in the way. The saw is then used to cut the trunk into sections. An axe can do this as well but your cutting 4-inch sections out of a limb to make a cut. Where as with a saw you�re making a 1/8th or less slice through the branch. Less effort, less wastage of material and a safer practice. Safety is always paramount, especially in a bug out situation or wilderness environment where help can be hours or days away, let alone in the middle of a city if an artery has been severed or a major crush injury occurs.

Once the tree has been sectioned, an axe is used to split the lengths into usable pieces of firewood. This is also easier when the end cuts of the sections are level from using a saw. The inner core is dryer and you don�t need a piece of timber to burn for 4 hours when a split limb will burn down faster to make a cooking fire etc.

Where does a large knife come into play? Once again by having control of the task in hand. By using an axe to cut smaller branches for shelter building or making tools etc the head is end heavy. You have less control of the swing. By using a knife that is designed for chopping. By this I don�t mean a Rambo knife made from 440 stainless that is brittle but a blade differentially tempered from some variety of tool steel. You can gain further control of the task and tool being used. By using the tip of the blade you have more leverage, but using the start of the blade edge near the handle, called the Ricasso, you have more control of lighter cuts. The sweet spot of a blade is where the power comes from. You find this by simply using it and seeing where the blade cuts best. Approximately 2/3rds of the way along the blade.

A large knife comes into its own when chopping down smaller diameter trees for a ridge pole and supports for a lean-to and then collecting leafy branches to clad the exterior. Making tools such as spears, bows or even furniture can be made easier by using a large knife blade over a head heavy axe. Having said all that, most BOBs are designed for 72 hours and all that is needed are smaller chopping tools, enough to bring in timber for a cooking fire. The longer you plan on being self supporting, the easier and more comfortable it becomes if the tools are on hand to help do this.

Mini Survival Belt Kit

Mini Survival Belt kit

Ive had enough gear left over from various projects to attempt to make up a mini survival kit, but no matter how I tried there was no way I could compete with price in purchasing one of Doug Ritters AMK Kits when trying to purchase bits and pieces from multiple stores and then including shipping. The only items I couldnt find much use in were the safety pins and the scapel blade, but left them in anyway, as you never know. The scapel blade is atleast sanitary incase of needing to remove splinters etc from skin. It took me a while to figure out what the black nylon cord was, almost 6 months actually. Dacron bow string line. Figured it out while making up some new strings for my bow and thought Id recognised it some where before. Having strings pre-made, they look different in multiple strands as compared to a singular strand base material.

Added to the kit which is stored in a Maxpedition 4’x6″ Pouch is a McNett Frontier Filter Straw for water purification. A small Sea to Summit Pak Tap water bladder, a Photon Micro light-attached to the zipper pull and a TOPS Bagdad Boxcutter knife. I did start off with a TOPS Ferret but found I could use the boxcutter to baton with being 1/4 inch thick and assigned the ferret to my Micro Fishing Kit. A mini TOPS harpoon could be substituted for a hunting tool, but then you loose the batoning advantage.

I do have a small chisel ground D2 Adze which Im thinking of combining with the spear head to have a chopping tool seperate from a hunting tool in case of actually catching something and having it decide to run off with an impaled spear head, loosing a cutting tool at the same time. The Mcnett Filter straw removes pathogens down to 2 microns and works on a charcoal filter system. Chemical types of purification tablets have short use by dates after opening and I find leave a foul taste after using. If happening to get a hole in the bladder, chemical sytems are no longer of any use without a container to use them in. The original plastic tube included with the straw has been replaced with a piece of surgical rubber tubing. This could double as a mechanism for a snare but makes it easier to pack into a small space, being foldable.

I prefer to have a bum bag kit with a first aid module included for most hikes but atleast having something attached to a belt, it will always be on you and not left in camp. It only takes a few moments to have an accident occur and not be able to reach equipment. Im also trying to figure out how to squeeze in a refective blanket. It may fit by removing the bladder from its protective pouch, but then I loose the carrying ability of the shoulder strap.�

Spark-Lite Firestarter – current U.S. military issue, waterproof, useable one-handed, over 1000 sparkings in tests

4 Spark-Lite Tinder-Quik – current U.S. military issue, waterproof, wax impregnated cotton tinder in zip-top plastic bag, each burns 2-3 minutes

Fox-40 Rescue Howler Survival Whistle – designed exclusively for this kit, triple frequency, exceeds U.S. Coast Guard and SOLAS specifications, bright yellow with dual mode lanyard hole

Rescue Flash Signal Mirror, 2 x 3 inches (5 x 7.6 cm) Lexan polycarbonate with mil-spec style retro-reflective aiming aid for one-handed use, instructions on back, protective cover to prevent scratches while stored in the kit, lanyard hole.

20mm Survival Compass – liquid damped with groove to accept an improvised lanyard ring

Duct Tape – 26 inches x 2 inches (66 x 5 cm), rolled around plastic mandrel, repairs, first aid, the ultimate repair and improvisation component, uses limited only by your imagination

Stainless Steel Utility Wire – 6 ft. of .020 inch (1.83 m x 0.5 mm) mil-spec grade, stronger than brass, won’t get brittle in frigid cold, multiple uses

Braided Nylon Cord – 10 ft. (3 m) 150+ lb. (68+ kg) test, won’t unravel, shelter building, repairs and much more

#69 Black Nylon Thread – 50 ft. (15.2 m), 10.5 lb. (4.8 kg) test, repairs, fishing line, light duty lashing and much more

Fishing Kit – 4 x medium Fish Hooks, 2 x Split Shot and 1 x Snap Swivel, in a clear plastic vial with cap.

Heavy Duty Sewing Needle – will penetrate heavy materials, easy to grip, large eye for easy threading

4 Safety Pins – repairs, secure items to prevent loss and much more

Heavy Duty Aluminum Foil – 3 sq. ft. (0.9 sq. m), make container to boil water, reflect fire heat and much more

#2 Pencil and Waterproof Notepaper – 2 pieces 2.125 x 3.667 inches (5.4 x 9.3 cm), leave notes, memory aid, keep log

#22 Scalpel Blade – stainless steel, in sealed foil packaging, more functional than a single-edged razor blade

Kit Specific Illustrated Survival Instructions – authored by Doug Ritter, 33 illustrations, on waterproof paper, detailed, easy to understand, practical information

Contents List – viewable through pouch back so anyone can see what’s inside even if kit’s owner can no longer assist, annotated, complements Survival Instructions, can be used as tinder

Fresnel Lens Magnifier – 2 x 3 inches (5 x 7.6 cm), in protective sleeve, read small type in survival instructions if glasses lost, start fire using sun

Pocketsize Clear Vinyl Pouch – 4 x 5 inches (10.2 x 12.7 cm), 4 x 3.25 inches (10.2 x 8.3 cm) with top folded over, waterproof zip-top closure, lanyard hole, it really does fit in your pocket.

Weight: 3.9 oz (111 g) – you will barely know it is there until you need it to save your life�

Spark-Lite & Tinder-Quik: I wanted a reliable and compact firestarter. Fire is just too critical to have anything but the best that would fit our packaging limitations. Ideally, it should be able to be operated with one hand and reliability concerns precluded matches and lighters. It had to be waterproof and we needed waterproof tinder to complement the firestarter.

The Spark-Lite is the current U.S. military issue firestarter. For the military it is packed in a small plastic matchbox size box with non-waterproof instructions and 8 pieces of tinder, available in OD or bright orange. We got rid of the box, included 4 pieces of tinder in a plastic zip-top bag and added the instructions to the waterproof POCKET SURVIVAL PAK’s Survival Instructions. We selected the orange version, so it is less likely to be lost if dropped.

This is an artificial (ferrocium) flint and steel firestarter, completely waterproof. If it gets wet, just shake off the water and it’s good to go. The wax-impregnated cotton tinder is also waterproof.

One of this firestarter’s big advantages is that it can be used one-handed, unlike most other flint and steel firestarters (the Ultimate Survival Blast Match being the exception, but it is far larger and heavier, almost as heavy as the entire POCKET SURVIVAL PAK, actually). Just rotate the sparking wheel of the Spark-Lite in the direction of the arrows and get a shower of sparks. It’s not unlike using a traditional lighter; the steel wheel and a flint rod under spring pressure do the job, but it generates a lot more sparks. It is rated for hundreds of sparkings and some random samples have been tested to over 1000.

The tinder is quick and easy to use, just pull it apart some to expose the finer cotton fibers and it’s ready to accept the spark. No need to waste time and effort shaving magnesium with your knife, nor do you then have to collect the small shavings, especially difficult if it’s windy. It has an unlimited storage life and doesn’t need to be kept in sealed airtight packaging, unlike Ultimate Survival’s WetFire brand tinder. Each piece of tinder will burn for two to three minutes.

Fox 40 Rescue Howler Whistle: When we started developing this kit, it was obvious that we needed a compact whistle; there wasn’t room for a full-sized one. Too many cheap kits include insubstantial novelty whistles that don’t perform well or stand up to any abuse, not something to which you’d want to trust your life. Metal whistles can present problems in cold weather; potentially freezing to a survivor’s lips, so they were also out of the question. The whistle had to be as loud as possible for the size, it had to be robust enough to stand up to abuse and it preferably would exceed U.S. Coast Guard and SOLAS (Safety Of Life At Sea) specifications.

There were only two possible choices available that both fit the size requirements and met my minimum standards for performance and quality, the Acme 636 “Tornado” or the ACR “WW-3 Survival Whistle.” Both performed adequately, but neither had close to the performance of a Fox 40, the best performing conventional size whistles available. For years I’ve carried in my pocket a Mini-Fox 40 with the side plates cut down, resulting in a pocket-sized whistle. However, even so modified it was not small enough for our purposes. I spoke with Foxtron, manufacturer of the Fox 40 line and discovered that they had actually considered making a slim whistle, had even done some prototypes, but the project had languished on the back burner for some time.

Timing is everything and it was the right time to ask. My query, combined with the accompanying potential of a ready market for significant quantities of the whistle, was enough to move the project to the front burner. Now, all they had to do was develop a better performing whistle at a size that would fit in the kit and for a price we could afford.

The better part of a year later I was shipped a prototype. Its performance was very close to that of the full-sized Fox-40, they got that part right. Unfortunately, for our purposes at least, they got carried away with some design considerations for the mass market that resulted in a whistle a full 3/4-inch too long for our purposes. The basic whistle wasn’t too long, just the integrated carabiner style clip that they felt would give them a marketing edge. It sure did look sharp, I couldn’t argue that, but there was no way we could get it to fit. Would they make a special version just for us that was shorter with just a lanyard hole on the end? A sub-compact version of the compact whistle?

In a not inconsequential vote of confidence in the Pocket Survival Pak, they agreed to make us a special whistle. They even managed to add the feature of a dual-carriage lanyard hole so that the lanyard can be threaded side to side for comfortable flat carry around the neck, or it can be attached through a center slot for traditional or key chain carry. Either the heavy-duty nylon thread or the braided line in the PSP will work as a lanyard.

The Fox 40 Rescue Howler is a three-chamber, triple frequency whistle with the highest decibel level of any “slim” style whistle. The tested frequencies of the prototype are:

3934.61Hz�
4087.36 Hz�
4237.93 Hz

As for loudness, when measured in the same manner to the same weighted db scale (there is no industry standard), the Rescue Howler� achieved a db rating of 110. This compares to the Fox 40 Classic and Mini-Fox 40 at 115 db and the Acme Tornado at 107 db.

Bear in mind that decibels are measured on a logarithmic scale, so that each decibel of difference is significantly more than the db numbers suggest on their face.

This is all well and good, but the true test is in the blowing and in field tests I conducted the Fox 40 Rescue Howler� was substantially louder than the Acme and ACR whistles and could be readily heard from approximately 20% further away under a variety of circumstances. That’s an increase worth blowing your horn about, if you’ll pardon a bad pun.

The Fox 40 Rescue Howler is made of tough ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) polymer in bright Rescue Yellow so it will not be easily lost if dropped.

Like all the Fox 40 designs, it is pealess, so that it is utterly and completely reliable. It instantly blows free any water if immersed and has no chamber to collect water that could freeze.

Rescue Flash� Signal Mirror: No item of gear for this kit created more challenges than the signal mirror. I was determined that the kit have a “real” signal mirror, one with a modern, mil-spec style, retro-reflective aiming aid that allows easy one-handed aiming. None of the misrepresentation, from my point of view, of calling a mirror without an integral aimer a signal mirror. Yes, any mirror can be used for signaling, using the two-handed aiming method, but so can anything reflective; they are a signal mirror in name only.

Also, no lining up a dot on your face viewed in the reflective back side of the mirror with the aiming hole either; this style aimer is awkward at best and can be difficult to use. It’s an anachronism from before there was a better technological solution. It had to be a retro-reflective aimer where all you need to do is align the “hot spot” in the aimer with the target in order to flash it.

It also had to perform well, with a signaling range appropriate to the job. Glass, the best performing material for a signal mirror, was out of the question because of its weight and fragility. It would have to be plastic, and that posed its own share of challenges.

Commercially available plastic mirrored material is, at its best, less reflective than glass, and much of it is a good deal less reflective. While the best hand-made plastic mirrors by Rescue Reflectors approach the performance of glass, even they do not equal it and each is hand tweaked for optimal performance. Each also costs more than the entire Pocket Survival Pak.

Mass-produced molded plastic mirrors, such as the Ultimate Survival Star Flash, a consumer market version of a current mil-spec mirror, are significantly less effective than glass, but their reduced performance is still adequate and it is an acceptable exchange for the benefits that come from plastic–lighter weight and virtually unbreakable. Unfortunately, the cost for this mirror was still prohibitive and, besides, they were too thick to easily fit in the kit.

Other plastic signal mirrors we examined were all deficient in one way or another. We eventually came to the conclusion that if we wanted a decent performing signal mirror that would fit in our kit at a price we could afford, we’d have to develop and produce one ourselves, offshore.

Thus began another yearlong odyssey. Numerous prototypes arrived from a number of potential suppliers in Asia, many of which were so far from what was acceptable that at times we were very nearly ready to give up in frustration. We finally received a prototype that worked, a near duplicate of an old-fashioned mil-spec glass mirror done in polycarbonate.

The only problem was that it was too thick to fit inside the kit. The next iteration was half the thickness, with the expected somewhat lower level of performance, though still quite adequate, and better than almost any other plastic mirror available. The problem was that it was so flexible that simply gripping the mirror too tightly while signaling would cause distortion that would cut down on its performance. The third time, like they say, was the charm. Slightly thicker, it was much more rigid and the performance was better, virtually equal or better than the current mil-spec mirror in signaling performance, and in a thinner package.

In field tests under less than optimum conditions (December, signaling from an urban location with less than pristine atmospheric conditions, in other words a fair amount of smog) the 2 x 3 inch (5.1 x 7.6 cm) Rescue Flash� signal mirror was visible to an observer at approximately 3500 feet above ground level (AGL) in a light aircraft from a distance of 23 miles and was readily noticeable from 2000 ft. AGL at 15 miles. From a practical perspective, this means that if you can see a search aircraft, it will be able to see your mirror flash. It also means that you can signal the horizon or a distant ridge with a decent chance that some person or aircraft you cannot see may see your signal if they are there, out of sight.

The retro-reflective fiberglass mesh in the aimer provides a bright and distinct “hot spot” for aiming. The see-though mesh makes it far easier to aim than mirrors with more obscured retro-reflective aimers, such as the ACR Hot Shot, or a solid cut-out form, such as the StarFlash.

We also tested the mirror in an environmental testing cabinet from minus 40� to 176� F (-40� to 80� C).

The double layer design ensures that the mirrored surface and aimer are protected and cannot be damaged. The instructions on the reverse of the mirror are sandwiched between the layers of polycarbonate, providing protection from being scratched or obliterated.

These instructions were tested on numerous na�ve subjects. We tried a variety of pictographs in an attempt to avoid text instructions, but found that many na�ve subjects simply didn’t get it, while the written instructions were nearly universally understood. Space limitations on the small mirror prevented us from using both.

Obviously, non-English speaking survivors would be at a disadvantage, but that also holds true for the Survival Instructions themselves, so we decided this was an acceptable compromise. We will continue to investigate alternative means of providing instructions, but for now, this is it.

Even the best aimer has only a limited range of effectiveness, so I also included instructions for aiming using the two-handed method. This allows a survivor to hit targets at higher angles off the sun or for other group members without their own signal mirror to use any reflective item as an additional improvised signal mirror.

The polycarbonate mirror face is protected to prevent scratching in storage. It can be removed and replaced so that a purchaser can practice with the mirror.

The brightly colored background on the mirror back makes it easier to find if dropped and the high contrast makes the instructions easy to read. There is also a lanyard hole for added security as the mirror is not inherently buoyant.

20mm Button Compass: As with much of the gear in the kit, we tested a number of companies’ products until we found an affordable compass that was reliable. With a 20 mm (0.79 in.) diameter, our button compass is large enough to be useful for basic wayfinding purposes. It is liquid damped for ease of use, but the magnetism is powerful enough that it reacts reasonably quickly. The groove around the midsection can accept an improvised lanyard ring made from the POCKET SURVIVAL PAK’s included wire or thread.

Test units survived numerous flights to above 10,000 ft and back down in a Cessna 182 until we were satisfied that they generally didn’t develop a bubble, one of the Achilles heels of liquid damped compasses.

The compass is stored away from the ferrous metal components of the kit (the stainless steel wire is non-magnetic). (Please note that in some early production kits the scalpel blade was incorrectly placed under the compass and the surgical stainless steel used in that blade for improved edge-holding will affect the compass to the extent that it will appear not to work when stored in the pouch

26 inches (66 cm) of 2-inch wide Duct Tape: It’s been said that if you can’t fix it with duct tape, it isn’t really broken. Duct tape is one of the most versatile items you can have on hand in many emergencies. It’s much more useful than the 3/4-inch (19 mm) electrical tape used to seal some other kits. And, unlike other pocket kits that include only 3.5 or 12 inches (9 – 30 cm) of duct tape, we include over two feet. That’s enough to be really useful, as opposed to just being able to patch a small hole or mend a small tear.

This is the same small-diameter roll included in Adventure Medical Kits’ GearAid “Go! Repair” kit and it has proven itself up to the task in the field for short-term repairs and resistant to degradation in storage from extremes of temperature (as much as any duct tape is, at any rate; we can’t work miracles). AMK assembles these rolls themselves from bulk packaged large rolls of tape. It is wound around a 1/4-inch diameter plastic tube. The grade of tape was selected as a compromise between a heavy industrial grade or mil-spec grade tape that is much thicker and would have allowed less than half as much in the same size roll and the very lightweight consumer grades that do not have as much tensile strength or as strong an adhesive.

6 ft. of .020 inch Stainless Steel Utility Wire: This is mil-spec grade safety lock wire (Type 302/304 MS20995 C 20) as commonly used on aircraft, spacecraft and race cars. It is stronger than brass wire, both in tensile strength and in resistance to fatigue, so it is less likely to break in use or in twisting. It is also less subject to embrittlement in very cold conditions. Being tougher, it can be more difficult to break if the survivor has no wire cutters (multi-purpose tool – Leatherman, etc.), so instructions for breaking it are included in the annotated Contents List.

10 ft. of Braided Nylon Cord: This braided nylon line is rated a minimum 150 lb. (68 kg) test. While some of the line we tested went as high as 205 lb. (93 kg) test, we chose to list the lower number to be on the conservative side in case suppliers change.

Poly line is cheaper, but not nearly as strong. Twisted line is cheaper, but unravels badly when cut and isn’t as strong.

50 ft. of #69 Black Nylon Thread / Fishing Line: This is heavy-duty nylon thread, not cheaper and weaker polyester. At a minimum of 10.5 lb. (4.8 kg) test, it is strong enough to double as fishing line. I’ve caught some nice sized fish using this line and the rest of the fishing gear in the kit.

Fishing Kit: The fishing kit is contained in a clear plastic vial with a press-fit cap. The fishing kit includes 4 medium Fish Hooks, 2 Removable Split Shot and 1 Snap Swivel. These are stored in a plastic zip-top bag to prevent rattles.

The decision to include the fishing gear was not easy. One could easily argue that it is relatively unimportant in the grand scheme of things for a kit designed primarily to help support someone for a brief survival experience where sustenance, food, isn’t much of an issue.

In part, inclusion was a marketing decision based on the fact that most pocket kits include some fishing gear. It’s expected. And, there are plenty of hard-earned lessons in business that you ignore consumers’ expectations at your peril. When I researched what to include in my kit and how to set priorities for inclusion by surveying potential customers, a fishing kit was almost always on the list. Luckily, the cost of including fishing gear is relatively minuscule compared to almost everything else in the kit.

There is also another aspect to this. Having taken care of the basics such as medical issues, fire, shelter and signaling; a survivor is often faced with a potentially demoralizing psychological crisis–boredom. Fishing is one way to combat boredom, and again, it costs little to provide this therapeutic “escape.”

Some of this fishing gear can also be used for small game and bird snares.

Having decided to include some fishing gear, we decided to incorporate more than the one or two fish hooks commonly provided in many pocket survival kits. The assortment provides enough gear to get the job done, even if you lose a few pieces.

Fishhook size was selected to catch smaller fish within the weight range the tackle should be able to deal with. As the old saw goes, you can catch a big fish with a small hook, but you can’t catch a small fish with a big hook. But, too small is only asking to be frustrated. They are bait hooks because that’s the most likely way they will be used.

It was decided that a snap swivel should be included, despite the high cost relative to the rest of the fishing gear, as a result of advice from those more experienced than me who insist that a swivel makes for much more effective attraction of the fish when using improvised lures. It just makes sense to follow the advice of those with the expertise, so we did.

Heavy Duty Sewing Needle: Large enough to penetrate heavier materials and able to be used while wearing gloves, this needle also boasts a fairly large eye making it easier to thread. The needle is stored in the plastic vial, secured to the plastic bag of fishing gear to keep it from rattling and getting lost.

4 Safety Pins: A safety pin is often the most expedient way to repair clothing or gear. It is also useful in securing other gear so it doesn’t get lost. Instead of just a single safety pin that many kits include, and often a small one at that, we include 4 medium-large safety pins. These are also stored in the plastic vial.

(Again, I’d like to emphasize that we have taken extra precautions that the metal objects stored in the plastic vial do not rattle)

3 sq. ft. (0.91 m) Heavy Duty Aluminum Foil: Sturdier than standard lightweight foil, ours has enough substance that with care it can be used to form a container to boil water for purification purposes. It can also be used as a reflector behind a fire, to protect dry wood under a fire built on snow (if there’s no ready supply of green wood) as well as for many other purposes.

Miniature #2 Pencil and 2 pieces Waterproof Notepaper, 2.125 x 3.667 inches: Whether leaving a message for rescuers, writing yourself a note so you don’t forget something critical, or for keeping a log of your experience, it is a lot better if the paper doesn’t turn to mush if it gets wet.

#22 Scalpel Blade: First off, this is not a substitute for a real knife. The POCKET SURVIVAL PAK retail package “BONUS” Insert recommends a good knife always be carried in addition to this PSP. However, an ultra-sharp blade such as this can be very useful and it serves as a back-up for your primary blade. This stainless steel blade is packaged in sealed foil, preventing rust and corrosion. It won’t rust like the cheap single edge razor blades included in many pocket survival kits. Compared to the single edge razor blade often packed in lesser kits, this blade is more robust and has a real point and belly to the blade for more versatile functionality. The blade can be attached to a piece of branch using the wire in the POCKET SURVIVAL PAK to improvise a knife with a handle.

Fresnel Lens Magnifier – 2 x 3 inches: The primary purpose of this magnifier is to make it easier to read the relatively small print of the Survival Instructions, particularly if eye glasses or contacts are lost. It will also function as a back-up fire starter, if the sun is out.

Contents List: This list is visible through the back of the kit pouch, so anyone who picks it up will know what is included, even if the original “owner” is unable to assist. It is annotated with suggestions or instructions for use of some of the items and was written by me.

Pocketsize Clear Vinyl Pouch: At 4 x 5 inches (10 x 13 cm), this pouch is truly pocket-sized and features a waterproof zip-top closure. The top can be folded over to reduce the width to a mere 3.5 inches (8.9 cm). When sealed with the standard contents inside it will float. You can add up to 4 ounces (11 g) additional contents, double what’s there, and it will still float, even without purposely trapping additional air inside. The hole provided for pegboard display can be used to attach a lanyard for added security or alternative carry, such as around the neck. The hole will support 25 lbs. (11 kg) in tension with #15 twine before failing.

This is the same pouch Adventure Medical Kits has long used for its Pocket Medic and Blister Medic kits, among others, and is well proven in the field. The pouch is sturdy and will stand up to a good deal of abuse, but the entire kit is somewhat flexible (bearing in mind the rigid mirror that serves to anchor the kit), adding to the comfort quotient and ease of carriage in almost any pocket. It remains flexible even in frigid temperatures, we tested it to -40� F (-40� C).

The clear pouch is a compromise between the toughness of a metal or plastic hard container and the deficits they bring in comfort, bulk and cost. While it isn’t as durable as a metal or hard plastic container, the clear pouch allows the high quality contents to be seen in a retail display so there’s nothing hidden, and to also check on their condition to ensure they are all still there and in good condition. Since it can be opened and resealed (with one hand, I might add), a purchaser can practice with the firestarter and the signal mirror and there is plenty of room to add personal medications, some matches or a small lighter, or water purification tablets to name a few possibilities.

Contents list written by Doug Ritter

How to use a Star Flash Signal Mirror

http://www.dougritter.com/psp_rescueflash.htm

Where to Purchase Kits

http://www.bepreparedtosurvive.com/Survival%20Kits.htm

Belt Pouch Survival Kit

Mini Survival Belt kit

Ive had enough gear left over from various projects to attempt to make up a mini survival kit, but no matter how I tried there was no way I could compete with price in purchasing one of Doug Ritters AMK Kits when trying to purchase bits and pieces from multiple stores and then including shipping. The only items I couldnt find much use in were the safety pins and the scapel blade, but left them in anyway, as you never know. The scapel blade is atleast sanitary incase of needing to remove splinters etc from skin. It took me a while to figure out what the black nylon cord was, almost 6 months actually. Dacron bow string line. Figured it out while making up some new strings for my bow and thought Id recognised it some where before. Having strings pre-made, they look different in multiple strands as compared to a singular strand base material.

Added to the kit which is stored in a Maxpedition 4’x6″ Pouch is a McNett Frontier Filter Straw for water purification. A small Sea to Summit Pak Tap water bladder, a Photon Micro light-attached to the zipper pull and a TOPS Bagdad Boxcutter knife. I did start off with a TOPS Ferret but found I could use the boxcutter to baton with being 1/4 inch thick and assigned the ferret to my Micro Fishing Kit. A mini TOPS harpoon could be substituted for a hunting tool, but then you loose the batoning advantage.

I do have a small chisel ground D2 Adze which Im thinking of combining with the spear head to have a chopping tool seperate from a hunting tool in case of actually catching something and having it decide to run off with an impaled spear head, loosing a cutting tool at the same time. The Mcnett Filter straw removes pathogens down to 2 microns and works on a charcoal filter system. Chemical types of purification tablets have short use by dates after opening and I find leave a foul taste after using. If happening to get a hole in the bladder, chemical sytems are no longer of any use without a container to use them in. The original plastic tube included with the straw has been replaced with a piece of surgical rubber tubing. This could double as a mechanism for a snare but makes it easier to pack into a small space, being foldable.

I prefer to have a bum bag kit with a first aid module included for most hikes but atleast having something attached to a belt, it will always be on you and not left in camp. It only takes a few moments to have an accident occur and not be able to reach equipment. Im also trying to figure out how to squeeze in a refective blanket. It may fit by removing the bladder from its protective pouch, but then I loose the carrying ability of the shoulder strap.�

Spark-Lite Firestarter – current U.S. military issue, waterproof, useable one-handed, over 1000 sparkings in tests

4 Spark-Lite Tinder-Quik – current U.S. military issue, waterproof, wax impregnated cotton tinder in zip-top plastic bag, each burns 2-3 minutes

Fox-40 Rescue Howler Survival Whistle – designed exclusively for this kit, triple frequency, exceeds U.S. Coast Guard and SOLAS specifications, bright yellow with dual mode lanyard hole

Rescue Flash Signal Mirror, 2 x 3 inches (5 x 7.6 cm) Lexan polycarbonate with mil-spec style retro-reflective aiming aid for one-handed use, instructions on back, protective cover to prevent scratches while stored in the kit, lanyard hole.

20mm Survival Compass – liquid damped with groove to accept an improvised lanyard ring

Duct Tape – 26 inches x 2 inches (66 x 5 cm), rolled around plastic mandrel, repairs, first aid, the ultimate repair and improvisation component, uses limited only by your imagination

Stainless Steel Utility Wire – 6 ft. of .020 inch (1.83 m x 0.5 mm) mil-spec grade, stronger than brass, won’t get brittle in frigid cold, multiple uses

Braided Nylon Cord – 10 ft. (3 m) 150+ lb. (68+ kg) test, won’t unravel, shelter building, repairs and much more

#69 Black Nylon Thread – 50 ft. (15.2 m), 10.5 lb. (4.8 kg) test, repairs, fishing line, light duty lashing and much more

Fishing Kit – 4 x medium Fish Hooks, 2 x Split Shot and 1 x Snap Swivel, in a clear plastic vial with cap.

Heavy Duty Sewing Needle – will penetrate heavy materials, easy to grip, large eye for easy threading

4 Safety Pins – repairs, secure items to prevent loss and much more

Heavy Duty Aluminum Foil – 3 sq. ft. (0.9 sq. m), make container to boil water, reflect fire heat and much more

#2 Pencil and Waterproof Notepaper – 2 pieces 2.125 x 3.667 inches (5.4 x 9.3 cm), leave notes, memory aid, keep log

#22 Scalpel Blade – stainless steel, in sealed foil packaging, more functional than a single-edged razor blade

Kit Specific Illustrated Survival Instructions – authored by Doug Ritter, 33 illustrations, on waterproof paper, detailed, easy to understand, practical information

Contents List – viewable through pouch back so anyone can see what’s inside even if kit’s owner can no longer assist, annotated, complements Survival Instructions, can be used as tinder

Fresnel Lens Magnifier – 2 x 3 inches (5 x 7.6 cm), in protective sleeve, read small type in survival instructions if glasses lost, start fire using sun

Pocketsize Clear Vinyl Pouch – 4 x 5 inches (10.2 x 12.7 cm), 4 x 3.25 inches (10.2 x 8.3 cm) with top folded over, waterproof zip-top closure, lanyard hole, it really does fit in your pocket.

Weight: 3.9 oz (111 g) – you will barely know it is there until you need it to save your life�

Spark-Lite & Tinder-Quik: I wanted a reliable and compact firestarter. Fire is just too critical to have anything but the best that would fit our packaging limitations. Ideally, it should be able to be operated with one hand and reliability concerns precluded matches and lighters. It had to be waterproof and we needed waterproof tinder to complement the firestarter.

The Spark-Lite is the current U.S. military issue firestarter. For the military it is packed in a small plastic matchbox size box with non-waterproof instructions and 8 pieces of tinder, available in OD or bright orange. We got rid of the box, included 4 pieces of tinder in a plastic zip-top bag and added the instructions to the waterproof POCKET SURVIVAL PAK’s Survival Instructions. We selected the orange version, so it is less likely to be lost if dropped.

This is an artificial (ferrocium) flint and steel firestarter, completely waterproof. If it gets wet, just shake off the water and it’s good to go. The wax-impregnated cotton tinder is also waterproof.

One of this firestarter’s big advantages is that it can be used one-handed, unlike most other flint and steel firestarters (the Ultimate Survival Blast Match being the exception, but it is far larger and heavier, almost as heavy as the entire POCKET SURVIVAL PAK, actually). Just rotate the sparking wheel of the Spark-Lite in the direction of the arrows and get a shower of sparks. It’s not unlike using a traditional lighter; the steel wheel and a flint rod under spring pressure do the job, but it generates a lot more sparks. It is rated for hundreds of sparkings and some random samples have been tested to over 1000.

The tinder is quick and easy to use, just pull it apart some to expose the finer cotton fibers and it’s ready to accept the spark. No need to waste time and effort shaving magnesium with your knife, nor do you then have to collect the small shavings, especially difficult if it’s windy. It has an unlimited storage life and doesn’t need to be kept in sealed airtight packaging, unlike Ultimate Survival’s WetFire brand tinder. Each piece of tinder will burn for two to three minutes.

Fox 40 Rescue Howler Whistle: When we started developing this kit, it was obvious that we needed a compact whistle; there wasn’t room for a full-sized one. Too many cheap kits include insubstantial novelty whistles that don’t perform well or stand up to any abuse, not something to which you’d want to trust your life. Metal whistles can present problems in cold weather; potentially freezing to a survivor’s lips, so they were also out of the question. The whistle had to be as loud as possible for the size, it had to be robust enough to stand up to abuse and it preferably would exceed U.S. Coast Guard and SOLAS (Safety Of Life At Sea) specifications.

There were only two possible choices available that both fit the size requirements and met my minimum standards for performance and quality, the Acme 636 “Tornado” or the ACR “WW-3 Survival Whistle.” Both performed adequately, but neither had close to the performance of a Fox 40, the best performing conventional size whistles available. For years I’ve carried in my pocket a Mini-Fox 40 with the side plates cut down, resulting in a pocket-sized whistle. However, even so modified it was not small enough for our purposes. I spoke with Foxtron, manufacturer of the Fox 40 line and discovered that they had actually considered making a slim whistle, had even done some prototypes, but the project had languished on the back burner for some time.

Timing is everything and it was the right time to ask. My query, combined with the accompanying potential of a ready market for significant quantities of the whistle, was enough to move the project to the front burner. Now, all they had to do was develop a better performing whistle at a size that would fit in the kit and for a price we could afford.

The better part of a year later I was shipped a prototype. Its performance was very close to that of the full-sized Fox-40, they got that part right. Unfortunately, for our purposes at least, they got carried away with some design considerations for the mass market that resulted in a whistle a full 3/4-inch too long for our purposes. The basic whistle wasn’t too long, just the integrated carabiner style clip that they felt would give them a marketing edge. It sure did look sharp, I couldn’t argue that, but there was no way we could get it to fit. Would they make a special version just for us that was shorter with just a lanyard hole on the end? A sub-compact version of the compact whistle?

In a not inconsequential vote of confidence in the Pocket Survival Pak, they agreed to make us a special whistle. They even managed to add the feature of a dual-carriage lanyard hole so that the lanyard can be threaded side to side for comfortable flat carry around the neck, or it can be attached through a center slot for traditional or key chain carry. Either the heavy-duty nylon thread or the braided line in the PSP will work as a lanyard.

The Fox 40 Rescue Howler is a three-chamber, triple frequency whistle with the highest decibel level of any “slim” style whistle. The tested frequencies of the prototype are:

3934.61Hz�
4087.36 Hz�
4237.93 Hz

As for loudness, when measured in the same manner to the same weighted db scale (there is no industry standard), the Rescue Howler� achieved a db rating of 110. This compares to the Fox 40 Classic and Mini-Fox 40 at 115 db and the Acme Tornado at 107 db.

Bear in mind that decibels are measured on a logarithmic scale, so that each decibel of difference is significantly more than the db numbers suggest on their face.

This is all well and good, but the true test is in the blowing and in field tests I conducted the Fox 40 Rescue Howler� was substantially louder than the Acme and ACR whistles and could be readily heard from approximately 20% further away under a variety of circumstances. That’s an increase worth blowing your horn about, if you’ll pardon a bad pun.

The Fox 40 Rescue Howler is made of tough ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) polymer in bright Rescue Yellow so it will not be easily lost if dropped.

Like all the Fox 40 designs, it is pealess, so that it is utterly and completely reliable. It instantly blows free any water if immersed and has no chamber to collect water that could freeze.

Rescue Flash� Signal Mirror: No item of gear for this kit created more challenges than the signal mirror. I was determined that the kit have a “real” signal mirror, one with a modern, mil-spec style, retro-reflective aiming aid that allows easy one-handed aiming. None of the misrepresentation, from my point of view, of calling a mirror without an integral aimer a signal mirror. Yes, any mirror can be used for signaling, using the two-handed aiming method, but so can anything reflective; they are a signal mirror in name only.

Also, no lining up a dot on your face viewed in the reflective back side of the mirror with the aiming hole either; this style aimer is awkward at best and can be difficult to use. It’s an anachronism from before there was a better technological solution. It had to be a retro-reflective aimer where all you need to do is align the “hot spot” in the aimer with the target in order to flash it.

It also had to perform well, with a signaling range appropriate to the job. Glass, the best performing material for a signal mirror, was out of the question because of its weight and fragility. It would have to be plastic, and that posed its own share of challenges.

Commercially available plastic mirrored material is, at its best, less reflective than glass, and much of it is a good deal less reflective. While the best hand-made plastic mirrors by Rescue Reflectors approach the performance of glass, even they do not equal it and each is hand tweaked for optimal performance. Each also costs more than the entire Pocket Survival Pak.

Mass-produced molded plastic mirrors, such as the Ultimate Survival Star Flash, a consumer market version of a current mil-spec mirror, are significantly less effective than glass, but their reduced performance is still adequate and it is an acceptable exchange for the benefits that come from plastic–lighter weight and virtually unbreakable. Unfortunately, the cost for this mirror was still prohibitive and, besides, they were too thick to easily fit in the kit.

Other plastic signal mirrors we examined were all deficient in one way or another. We eventually came to the conclusion that if we wanted a decent performing signal mirror that would fit in our kit at a price we could afford, we’d have to develop and produce one ourselves, offshore.

Thus began another yearlong odyssey. Numerous prototypes arrived from a number of potential suppliers in Asia, many of which were so far from what was acceptable that at times we were very nearly ready to give up in frustration. We finally received a prototype that worked, a near duplicate of an old-fashioned mil-spec glass mirror done in polycarbonate.

The only problem was that it was too thick to fit inside the kit. The next iteration was half the thickness, with the expected somewhat lower level of performance, though still quite adequate, and better than almost any other plastic mirror available. The problem was that it was so flexible that simply gripping the mirror too tightly while signaling would cause distortion that would cut down on its performance. The third time, like they say, was the charm. Slightly thicker, it was much more rigid and the performance was better, virtually equal or better than the current mil-spec mirror in signaling performance, and in a thinner package.

In field tests under less than optimum conditions (December, signaling from an urban location with less than pristine atmospheric conditions, in other words a fair amount of smog) the 2 x 3 inch (5.1 x 7.6 cm) Rescue Flash� signal mirror was visible to an observer at approximately 3500 feet above ground level (AGL) in a light aircraft from a distance of 23 miles and was readily noticeable from 2000 ft. AGL at 15 miles. From a practical perspective, this means that if you can see a search aircraft, it will be able to see your mirror flash. It also means that you can signal the horizon or a distant ridge with a decent chance that some person or aircraft you cannot see may see your signal if they are there, out of sight.

The retro-reflective fiberglass mesh in the aimer provides a bright and distinct “hot spot” for aiming. The see-though mesh makes it far easier to aim than mirrors with more obscured retro-reflective aimers, such as the ACR Hot Shot, or a solid cut-out form, such as the StarFlash.

We also tested the mirror in an environmental testing cabinet from minus 40� to 176� F (-40� to 80� C).

The double layer design ensures that the mirrored surface and aimer are protected and cannot be damaged. The instructions on the reverse of the mirror are sandwiched between the layers of polycarbonate, providing protection from being scratched or obliterated.

These instructions were tested on numerous na�ve subjects. We tried a variety of pictographs in an attempt to avoid text instructions, but found that many na�ve subjects simply didn’t get it, while the written instructions were nearly universally understood. Space limitations on the small mirror prevented us from using both.

Obviously, non-English speaking survivors would be at a disadvantage, but that also holds true for the Survival Instructions themselves, so we decided this was an acceptable compromise. We will continue to investigate alternative means of providing instructions, but for now, this is it.

Even the best aimer has only a limited range of effectiveness, so I also included instructions for aiming using the two-handed method. This allows a survivor to hit targets at higher angles off the sun or for other group members without their own signal mirror to use any reflective item as an additional improvised signal mirror.

The polycarbonate mirror face is protected to prevent scratching in storage. It can be removed and replaced so that a purchaser can practice with the mirror.

The brightly colored background on the mirror back makes it easier to find if dropped and the high contrast makes the instructions easy to read. There is also a lanyard hole for added security as the mirror is not inherently buoyant.

20mm Button Compass: As with much of the gear in the kit, we tested a number of companies’ products until we found an affordable compass that was reliable. With a 20 mm (0.79 in.) diameter, our button compass is large enough to be useful for basic wayfinding purposes. It is liquid damped for ease of use, but the magnetism is powerful enough that it reacts reasonably quickly. The groove around the midsection can accept an improvised lanyard ring made from the POCKET SURVIVAL PAK’s included wire or thread.

Test units survived numerous flights to above 10,000 ft and back down in a Cessna 182 until we were satisfied that they generally didn’t develop a bubble, one of the Achilles heels of liquid damped compasses.

The compass is stored away from the ferrous metal components of the kit (the stainless steel wire is non-magnetic). (Please note that in some early production kits the scalpel blade was incorrectly placed under the compass and the surgical stainless steel used in that blade for improved edge-holding will affect the compass to the extent that it will appear not to work when stored in the pouch

26 inches (66 cm) of 2-inch wide Duct Tape: It’s been said that if you can’t fix it with duct tape, it isn’t really broken. Duct tape is one of the most versatile items you can have on hand in many emergencies. It’s much more useful than the 3/4-inch (19 mm) electrical tape used to seal some other kits. And, unlike other pocket kits that include only 3.5 or 12 inches (9 – 30 cm) of duct tape, we include over two feet. That’s enough to be really useful, as opposed to just being able to patch a small hole or mend a small tear.

This is the same small-diameter roll included in Adventure Medical Kits’ GearAid “Go! Repair” kit and it has proven itself up to the task in the field for short-term repairs and resistant to degradation in storage from extremes of temperature (as much as any duct tape is, at any rate; we can’t work miracles). AMK assembles these rolls themselves from bulk packaged large rolls of tape. It is wound around a 1/4-inch diameter plastic tube. The grade of tape was selected as a compromise between a heavy industrial grade or mil-spec grade tape that is much thicker and would have allowed less than half as much in the same size roll and the very lightweight consumer grades that do not have as much tensile strength or as strong an adhesive.

6 ft. of .020 inch Stainless Steel Utility Wire: This is mil-spec grade safety lock wire (Type 302/304 MS20995 C 20) as commonly used on aircraft, spacecraft and race cars. It is stronger than brass wire, both in tensile strength and in resistance to fatigue, so it is less likely to break in use or in twisting. It is also less subject to embrittlement in very cold conditions. Being tougher, it can be more difficult to break if the survivor has no wire cutters (multi-purpose tool – Leatherman, etc.), so instructions for breaking it are included in the annotated Contents List.

10 ft. of Braided Nylon Cord: This braided nylon line is rated a minimum 150 lb. (68 kg) test. While some of the line we tested went as high as 205 lb. (93 kg) test, we chose to list the lower number to be on the conservative side in case suppliers change.

Poly line is cheaper, but not nearly as strong. Twisted line is cheaper, but unravels badly when cut and isn’t as strong.

50 ft. of #69 Black Nylon Thread / Fishing Line: This is heavy-duty nylon thread, not cheaper and weaker polyester. At a minimum of 10.5 lb. (4.8 kg) test, it is strong enough to double as fishing line. I’ve caught some nice sized fish using this line and the rest of the fishing gear in the kit.

Fishing Kit: The fishing kit is contained in a clear plastic vial with a press-fit cap. The fishing kit includes 4 medium Fish Hooks, 2 Removable Split Shot and 1 Snap Swivel. These are stored in a plastic zip-top bag to prevent rattles.

The decision to include the fishing gear was not easy. One could easily argue that it is relatively unimportant in the grand scheme of things for a kit designed primarily to help support someone for a brief survival experience where sustenance, food, isn’t much of an issue.

In part, inclusion was a marketing decision based on the fact that most pocket kits include some fishing gear. It’s expected. And, there are plenty of hard-earned lessons in business that you ignore consumers’ expectations at your peril. When I researched what to include in my kit and how to set priorities for inclusion by surveying potential customers, a fishing kit was almost always on the list. Luckily, the cost of including fishing gear is relatively minuscule compared to almost everything else in the kit.

There is also another aspect to this. Having taken care of the basics such as medical issues, fire, shelter and signaling; a survivor is often faced with a potentially demoralizing psychological crisis–boredom. Fishing is one way to combat boredom, and again, it costs little to provide this therapeutic “escape.”

Some of this fishing gear can also be used for small game and bird snares.

Having decided to include some fishing gear, we decided to incorporate more than the one or two fish hooks commonly provided in many pocket survival kits. The assortment provides enough gear to get the job done, even if you lose a few pieces.

Fishhook size was selected to catch smaller fish within the weight range the tackle should be able to deal with. As the old saw goes, you can catch a big fish with a small hook, but you can’t catch a small fish with a big hook. But, too small is only asking to be frustrated. They are bait hooks because that’s the most likely way they will be used.

It was decided that a snap swivel should be included, despite the high cost relative to the rest of the fishing gear, as a result of advice from those more experienced than me who insist that a swivel makes for much more effective attraction of the fish when using improvised lures. It just makes sense to follow the advice of those with the expertise, so we did.

Heavy Duty Sewing Needle: Large enough to penetrate heavier materials and able to be used while wearing gloves, this needle also boasts a fairly large eye making it easier to thread. The needle is stored in the plastic vial, secured to the plastic bag of fishing gear to keep it from rattling and getting lost.

4 Safety Pins: A safety pin is often the most expedient way to repair clothing or gear. It is also useful in securing other gear so it doesn’t get lost. Instead of just a single safety pin that many kits include, and often a small one at that, we include 4 medium-large safety pins. These are also stored in the plastic vial.

(Again, I’d like to emphasize that we have taken extra precautions that the metal objects stored in the plastic vial do not rattle)

3 sq. ft. (0.91 m) Heavy Duty Aluminum Foil: Sturdier than standard lightweight foil, ours has enough substance that with care it can be used to form a container to boil water for purification purposes. It can also be used as a reflector behind a fire, to protect dry wood under a fire built on snow (if there’s no ready supply of green wood) as well as for many other purposes.

Miniature #2 Pencil and 2 pieces Waterproof Notepaper, 2.125 x 3.667 inches: Whether leaving a message for rescuers, writing yourself a note so you don’t forget something critical, or for keeping a log of your experience, it is a lot better if the paper doesn’t turn to mush if it gets wet.

#22 Scalpel Blade: First off, this is not a substitute for a real knife. The POCKET SURVIVAL PAK retail package “BONUS” Insert recommends a good knife always be carried in addition to this PSP. However, an ultra-sharp blade such as this can be very useful and it serves as a back-up for your primary blade. This stainless steel blade is packaged in sealed foil, preventing rust and corrosion. It won’t rust like the cheap single edge razor blades included in many pocket survival kits. Compared to the single edge razor blade often packed in lesser kits, this blade is more robust and has a real point and belly to the blade for more versatile functionality. The blade can be attached to a piece of branch using the wire in the POCKET SURVIVAL PAK to improvise a knife with a handle.

Fresnel Lens Magnifier – 2 x 3 inches: The primary purpose of this magnifier is to make it easier to read the relatively small print of the Survival Instructions, particularly if eye glasses or contacts are lost. It will also function as a back-up fire starter, if the sun is out.

Contents List: This list is visible through the back of the kit pouch, so anyone who picks it up will know what is included, even if the original “owner” is unable to assist. It is annotated with suggestions or instructions for use of some of the items and was written by me.

Pocketsize Clear Vinyl Pouch: At 4 x 5 inches (10 x 13 cm), this pouch is truly pocket-sized and features a waterproof zip-top closure. The top can be folded over to reduce the width to a mere 3.5 inches (8.9 cm). When sealed with the standard contents inside it will float. You can add up to 4 ounces (11 g) additional contents, double what’s there, and it will still float, even without purposely trapping additional air inside. The hole provided for pegboard display can be used to attach a lanyard for added security or alternative carry, such as around the neck. The hole will support 25 lbs. (11 kg) in tension with #15 twine before failing.

This is the same pouch Adventure Medical Kits has long used for its Pocket Medic and Blister Medic kits, among others, and is well proven in the field. The pouch is sturdy and will stand up to a good deal of abuse, but the entire kit is somewhat flexible (bearing in mind the rigid mirror that serves to anchor the kit), adding to the comfort quotient and ease of carriage in almost any pocket. It remains flexible even in frigid temperatures, we tested it to -40� F (-40� C).

The clear pouch is a compromise between the toughness of a metal or plastic hard container and the deficits they bring in comfort, bulk and cost. While it isn’t as durable as a metal or hard plastic container, the clear pouch allows the high quality contents to be seen in a retail display so there’s nothing hidden, and to also check on their condition to ensure they are all still there and in good condition. Since it can be opened and resealed (with one hand, I might add), a purchaser can practice with the firestarter and the signal mirror and there is plenty of room to add personal medications, some matches or a small lighter, or water purification tablets to name a few possibilities.

Contents list written by Doug Ritter

How to use a Star Flash Signal Mirror

http://www.dougritter.com/psp_rescueflash.htm

Where to Purchase Kits

http://www.bepreparedtosurvive.com/Survival%20Kits.htm

Longer Term Bug Out Shelters

Longer Term Bug Out Shelters�

It’s been a while since I’ve owned a tent preferring to sleep under the stars in either a swag when traveling by vehicle or bivi bag when going light weight. Using these in association with an 8’x10′ tarp or hootchie worked well for me at the time of year that I’d like to go camping. �

When I started to research bug out bags I decided, I may need to have the availability of a shelter that would provide four season protection and be large enough for long term use if neccessary . I’ve always been put off tents and all the poles and usually prefer canvas to keep down condensation. Canvas now not being an option, due to weight and bulk considerations when possibly traveling by foot or with reduced space within a vehicle.�

I have stayed in traditional Indian tipi’s/teepee and found them a great way to camp for long periods of time. You can lift the sides in summer to allow a breeze through or have a fire inside for warmth in winter. I essentially wanted to combine these elements with newer light weight materials that didn’t require as many poles. So the search began.�

It didn’t take me long on the net to find several different options. Tentipi a Swedish manufacturer, Kifaru and Golite being American and Frisport a Norwegian company, all the sites are� well worth checking out, particularly Kifaru for setting up procedures and hints. All brands make light weight tipis to suit between 4 to 16 people. �

The Golite brand was the only one that made a smaller 3 person version which was more suitable for camping by myself and actually available in Australia. Two weeks later I owned my first tipi/teepee.

The Golite Hex 3 is made from rip stop nylon that has been impregnated with silicon and only weighs 2lbs and stores in a bag smaller than a foot ball. It can be set up with or without the centre pole and comes with optional accessories of floor and interior bug net.(Length 9ft 6in x Width 8ft 2in x Height 5ft 6in). Colours available are sage/green or sun/yellow.�

I didn’t bother to order any of the accessories as I use my bivi bag in conjunction with the tipi, providing me with a bug free area for sleeping. Having no floor has many advantages. �

One of the things that have always annoyed me about tents is the amount of dirt that accumulates just from walking through the door. No problem without a floor. No cleaning up over spilt food or liquid, fire wood can be stored just inside the entrance to keep dry; a bivi bag can be pegged down without putting holes through a floor liner and less condensation. �

I generally carry a small tarp or hootchie to lay down as a staging area for my equipment. It’s generally a good idea to dig a rain gutter around the shelter when not using a floor for inclement weather. The tent pegs I have started to use for everything from hootchie’s, swags, bivi’s and now tipi’s are called twizzle pegs and essentially a T shape with a threaded end made from heavy duty light weight plastic.�

Due to the thread hold firmer in the ground and for easier removal just by reversing the procedure of screwing them in, no more hammers or difficulties pulling pegs.�

Essentially hitec tipis offer the same advantages of the originals being aerodynamic in strong winds and providing comfortable living space, but with the additional advantages of modern materials- reductions in weight, in both cover material and poles also ease of assembly.�

I’ve had to live in tents for several weeks on end as opposed to camping for short periods of time, in between housing leases. Having the ability to heat and cook under shelter in inclement weather and just to be able to stand up is a major moral booster.�

For one person in a bug out situation, I choose the Golite. This is the only brand that came in a small enough model. However for more permanent accommodation I would opt for one of the other brands, in a larger size.�

Kifaru offer 4, 6, 8, 12, and 16 person sizes in either white or coyote brown made from para-glider material.�

Tentipi offer 3 versions with slightly different features which are best to research on Song of the Paddle forums. Without being able to see them in person I can’t really comment on the differences. Essentially they come in 5, 7, and 9 person sizes. The Varrie is the top of the line model and is made in a choice of heavy duty coptol T4 in beige or lighter HT-62 ripstop in green. This is followed by the Arron made only in the beige T4 and the Vagge made in lightweight Fly 87 polymide ripstop material in green.�

The Frisport Lavvu’s come in three materials standard (polyester) and extreme (rip stop polyester) which is aluminum coated in a dark olive colour and rip stop cotton that can be set up semi permanently with an additional pole structure. There are choices of five different models depending on size.

Holleia (12-15)

Bamse (10-12)

Skogshorn (8-10)

Andersnatten (6-8)

Norefjell (4)�

In looking for a larger size that would suit more permanent accommodation and be able to house between 6- 8 people if necessary and be within my price range. The Kifaru in a 6 person coyote brown measures 14’10″x13’2″ with a height of 7’6″. In the Tentipi brand I could only afford one model in the colour I wanted. A Vagge7 measuring 14’9″ diameter x 8’10” height. The Frisport Lavvu in an Andersnatten (6-8) measures 8’5″ polygonal sides, 13′ diameter and 9’8″ height. The extreme version in rip stop is only an additional $35 EURO and 100 EURO for shipping.�

I found that Tentipi didn’t return my enquiries and of the three agents I approached in the UK were either; very expensive, weren’t interested in selling overseas or didn’t return my emails. Frisport returned my email within a day and supplied an agent (Friluftsshop) who returned all enquiries promptly. Their websites were also much easier to understand at the time.�

It came down to a personal choice between� Kifaru and� Lavvu. The Lavvu’s have more tie downs around the sides and the extreme versions are made of rip stop material, which was the clincher. After reading The Real Heroes of the Telemark by Ray Mears I figured if a tent could survive Norwegian conditions then it could survive anywhere. Since that time I am now considering a mid sized Kifaru version in coyote brown to better suit the terrain I now travel through.�


Links�

Golite

http://www.golite.com.au/

Kifaru

http://www.kifaru.net/

Tentipi

http://www.tentipi.com/

Twizzle Pegs

http://www.kitbag.com.au/

Frisport Lavvu

http://www.frisport.com/sites/produkter.asp?id=19&myActive=19&sitemod=gruppe

Friluftsshop/Lavvu

http://www.friluftsshop.dk/

Immediate Action Plan

IMMEDIATE ACTION PLAN. (IAP)

An immediate action plan is a 6 step system designed to help you stop fear from turning into panic and to give you a method of remaining in control during a confrontation situation.

MORE importantly the ‘IAP’ is a 6 step plan to keep you ALIVE in a violent street confrontation.

The IAP uses the word escape to anchor each point of the plan into your mind, remember the object of self defence is to escape intact, so use the ESCAPE Immediate Action Plan to escape and remain safe.

E EARLY DETECTION of a possible threat, if you have done our awareness development program you should to be able to do this.

S STEP BACK: if you don’t remember anything else, always remember to step back out of punching, kicking and most importantly, edged weapon (knife, screw driver, bottle etc) range.

C COMMUNICATE: Try and talk to the attacker, distract him/her, if they are talking they are not hitting, kicking or stabbing, whilst you talk continue running the rest of this plan.

A ACCESS: Continually access the situation, look for means of escape, look for help, look for weapons or barriers if you have to, keep observing the attacker, check for weapons, back up, continually access the situation.

P PREPARE: prepare yourself to either engage or escape, if you have martial art training you should be considering options of attack and defence, you should be in a stance that gives you the best chance of success.

E ENGAGE OR ESCAPE: the moment of truth time, whatever you do now, commit yourself.

To recap,

EARLY DETECTION�
STEP BACK�
COMMUNICATE�
ACCESS�
PREPARE�
ENGAGE OR ESCAPE

Short Term Escape & Evasion

Short Term Escape & Evasion

You are on the run behind enemy lines with just the contents of your escape tin and the clothes you stand in, what should you do?

British fighter and helicopter pilots, Special Forces operatives and other specialists who are likely to be shot down or ambushed deep behind enemy lines receive excellent training in Escape and Evasion (E&E) procedures. Indeed this training is so good that selected operatives, soldiers and airmen from friendly nations are also often to be found on these courses.

However, it is not just the fast jet jockey and winged dagger trooper who could find themselves in the role of unwelcome guest behind enemy lines, being hotly pursued by a hunter killer force. Once the shooting starts, at any time it could happen to YOU.

1]Your unit has been decimated after being surrounded by the enemy, but you have managed to escape. �
2]Your defensive position has been overrun by the enemy but you have survived and must get away before they start mopping-up. �
3]Your patrol becomes lost behind enemy lines. �
4]You have accidentally strayed through the enemy front line. �
5]You have broken out from a POW holding area behind the battlefield �
6]You have managed to escape from a POW camp further into occupied territory. �
7]You are on a peace-keeping mission when your unit is taken hostage or ambushed and all are captured except yourself.

The list is endless, but ask yourself honestly these two questions. If I found myself in any of the above situations, would I know exactly what my very first move should be? And then, as the minutes tick by, what should I do next?

Now you are probably thinking that you should start water gathering, building a shelter and instituting all the other ‘surviving in the wilds’ skills. Wrong! Long term evaders such as downed pilots, or escapers from permanent POW camps deep inside enemy territory, may need to travel for weeks or even months before reaching friendly territory, so ‘wild’ survival skills are very important For them. However, only a very few soldiers ever become long term evaders.

Most Escape and Evasion (E&E) in any conflict is short term, lasting anything from about one hour up to48 hours.

What is most important in short term evasion is to understand the few basic rules of E&E based around anti-capture and anti tracking techniques. Without this knowledge, the chances are that you will be shot, taken prisoner or recaptured very quickly.

If you don’t understand the fundamental anti-tracking skills, the chances are that you will not be able to use your survival skills without tipping off the enemy. So it is important that you learn the basic ground rules of short term escape and evasion first.

The Escape Phase

Rule 1 – Escape Quickly

1st Rule – Escape Quickly
This is the first and most important rule of E&E and can be applied to many different situations. In this case, Escape Rule 1 refers to the period immediately after capture by the enemy. You must escape at the first opportunity because: �
a] The longer you remain in captivity, the more thoroughly you will be searched �
b]The longer you remain a prisoner, the further you will be sent behind enemy lines. �
c]Your captors will very probably be front line combat troops. These soldiers will likely have neither the interest, the time, nor the training in handling POWs. The longer you remain in captivity, the greater the chance of being sent to a secure POW camp with guards who have been specially trained in preventing escapes. �
d]Once incarcerated in a purposebuilt POW camp, the rules of E&E will change drastically (to be covered in a future article).

2nd Rule – Don’t Talk
Being captured by an enemy is a severe psychological shock, even for experienced soldiers. Only those who have experience of such an event can appreciate the desire to talk to captors, sometimes without being able to stop. You must steel yourself from the very first moment of captivity to say as little as possible. Under the Geneva Convention you are expected to give your name, rank, number and date of birth (this allows the Red Cross to hopefully keep track of your movements and health condition as well as to notify your next of kin that you have survived) but resist the desire to say anything else.

3rd Rule – Be The Grey Man
After capture, most soldiers adopt one of two attitudes. They either try to appeal to their captors by smiles and other friendly gestures, or they show defiance by scowling, cursing or exhibiting signs of aggression. Do neither!

You must attract as little attention from your captors or jailers as possible. This will prevent you from being singled out for interrogation, when you will be under closer guard, and will greatly help your chances of escape.

To play the grey man, stand or sit motionless with head slightly bowed. Avoid eye contact, but if forced to look at the enemy, focus on your opponent’s forehead and show no emotion. Speak only if spoken to.

The Evasion Phase

This most important Escape Rule also applies to the Evasion Phase. You may have just escaped from POW custody, be the surviving member of an ambushed patrol or have been overlooked as enemy assault troops overran your position.

In any of these situations, you could be captured at any moment. You must now travel as far and as fast as you can. The further you escape from your last point of contact with the enemy, the wider the arc or area the hunter-killer force will need to search for you and the greater the area that tracker dogs may have to cover to pick up your scent.

Rule 2 – Evade In Pairs
The larger the evading group is, the easier it will be to track down. If possible, try and break down into pairs as this could split up the team tracking you or even leave them all tracking just one spoor. In most situations, two heads are better than one and when rest becomes a necessity, one can remain on guard while the other sleeps.

Rule 3 -Assume You Are Being Hunted
An evader has a very limited view of events around him and it’s very easy to assume that he has given the enemy the slip. Often this is a mistaken view. Besides which, always assuming you are being hunted focuses the mind and this should lead to you making less mistakes.

Rule 4 – Carry A Compass
The sensible soldier will always carry a minicompass in his Survival Tin plus one hidden in his clothing. This is one of the most treasured E&E possessions. To allow for all eventualities though, learn to make an emergency compass by magnetizing a needle and sitting it on a free floating leaf on water. Practice now as you won’t get time when you are an evader.

Rule 5 – Make Or Get A Map
Maps are important. Before a mission make a simple map on a sheet of paper from your waterproof notepad. Show just the basic routes, roads, rivers and major topographical features, then sew it into your uniform.

If captured, while awaiting escape, make a rudimentary map by drawing on the inside of your clothing as this will greatly aid your navigation plans. Once on the run, acquire a better one- search bodies and deserted buildings and, particularly in an urban environment, look inside vehicles or even check out phone boxes

Rule 6 – Ignore The Hay Barn
Don’t assume the ‘Hay Barn’ mentality. In other words, never hide in obvious places. The barn on the hill will look tempting refuge with hide, but this is also the first place the hunter force will search.

Rule 7 – Become a Magpie
Never pass-by anything that could be of use. a discarded bin liner or even a plastic fertilizer bag can make an emergency waterproof overgarment.An abandoned steel helmet, not too common in these days of composites, makes a good cooking pot but look out for any metal container that will do this job and also transport drinking water.

Rule 8 – Camouflage Your Tracks
You must camouflage signs that you have passed, and especially your footprints, from man trackers. This is because the most common form of track to find and easiest to follow is the markings you leave on the ground-known as ground spoor. an even better find for an experienced tracker is a full bootprint (a confirmed spoor) from which he will be able to tell how fast you are moving, how tired you are and much more information on you.

With a consecutive pair of prints he can tell how fast you are travelling, what distance you are covering and even if you are carrying a load. Despite your boot probably having the same tread pattern as the rest of the guys in your unit, individual wear marks and tread damage make your boots as individual as your fingerprints. No wonder trackers call full bootprints a confirmed spoor.

Consequently, avoid walking on soft muddy ground. Instead try to find hard, rocky surfaces. Remember, though, not to disturb loose rocks as these would give a tracker recognizable, though less useful, ground spoor.

Of course there will be times when you have no choice but to walk on soft or muddy ground, so remember the following techniques. They may only temporarily confuse trackers, but they may gain you valuable time. �
a) Often there are harder ridges on either side of well used, soft, muddy paths. Walk legs astride on these ridges. �
b)Step carefully into existing footprints. �
c)Walk backwards or on tiptoe. �
d)Walk in a stream. Remember not to leave scuff marks or other ground spoor on the bank as you enter or leave the stream.

Rule 9 -Don ‘t Leave Aerial Spoor
Spoor above the ground or overhead may not be as easy to spot as ground spoor, but a good tracker will find it nevertheless �
a)Don’t break branches in your way – gently bend them aside. �
b)If you can’t bend it, go under, over or around it. �
c)If you snag or tear clothing, don’t be in such a hurry. Check to see that you have not left a small piece of cloth or telltale fibers behind you.

Rule 10 – Don’t Leave Scent
Tracker dogs follow the microscopic body scent particles that continually fall from your body and settle on or just above the ground.Their remarkably sensitive noses will follow your previous route as accurately as if you could draw the dog a map. Even so, there are ways to slow down,confuse and even defeat tracker dogs. �
a)Use a vehicle or even a bicycle. This will not only break the scent chain, but will put you further ahead of the pack much quicker and with less fatigue. �
b)On foot, follow an erratic path through tangled undergrowth. This usually tangles the running lead of the dog and its handler, slowing them down. �
c)Use well traveled animal or human trackways. Even better, follow an erratic path through a farmyard, as a large collection of new scent may temporarily confuse the dog and hinder progress. �
d)When you reach water, don’t just cross it. Walk in running water for a short distance before exiting on a part of the bank where your spoor will not show. �
e)If you can only find narrow waterways such as ditches, with still water in them, walk in them but cross diagonally, doubling back on yourself at least once to confuse the dog. �
f)If practical, wash regularly, but never use anything scented. �
g)If you cannot wash, roll around over the ground you are traversing, to add country scents to your own. However, remember that a man who has rolled in a dung heap smells just like a man who has rolled in a dung heap, to a well trained tracker dog with a good nose. �
h)Don’t allow yourself to come in contact with strongly smelling substances such as smoke or animal droppings. If an article of clothing becomes contaminated and you have to discard it, make sure you bury it, or better still hide it under rocks in a stream. Now wash hair and skin. if also contaminated. �
i)Try to outrun the dogs. A tracker dog has to move comparatively slowly so, as stated before, escape as quickly as possible.

Rule 11 – Camouflage Your Identity
It should almost go without saying, that you practice the basic rules of camouflage and concealment when resting, laying-up, approaching a dangerous area, etc. You should also practice camouflage and deception when traveling. �
a)Avoid busy or populated areas and keep your distance from any civilians you see. �
b)Don’t act suspiciously or appear to be nervous as this wilt attract attention. �
c)Never walk in an upright, military fashion-adopt a tired slouch. �
d)Try to at least keep the appearance of being clean and keep shaving if you can. �
e)If traveling in countryside, carry a spade or some other farming implement. �
f)Keep your uniform on underneath any civilian clothing as otherwise you could be shot for being a spy. �
g)Keep your watch in your pocket. �
h)If approached by the locals, unless you speak and look like a native of the area, pretend to be deaf and dumb or perhaps even half-witted. The latter often works.

Rule 12 – Disguise Your Hide.
Sooner or later you will need to lay-up or rest. Again, leave no traces of your presence.

It is a good idea to rest for 5-10 minutes in every hour that you travel. Don’t just stop anywhere though. Choose an area of good cover and try to leave no trace of your LUP (Laying Up Point).

a longer LUP occurs when you sleep. lie facing the ground, and if you have a ground sheet or something similar, cover yourself with it. This should concentrate your scent in one place. Before you leave, cover your sleeping area with soil and natural debris to mask the scent.

Always bury any food waste, camp fire debris, feces, urine or anything connected with your stay. Try not to contaminate your skin with waste material. Finally, cover disturbed soil with natural debris. Waste on the surface will attract flies in warm weather and will be easily spotted by human trackers, and a dog’s nose will pick up the scent a long way off.

Rule 13 – Disguise Your Fire
Opinions vary as to exactly when you are safe enough to light a fire. However, sometimes it is crucial to purify food or water by cooking or boiling,to provide warmth to prevent hypothermia.

If you have to light a fire, ideally you should dig a fire pit deep enough to hide the flames. Try not to make the fire too big and ensure that flames to not show above ground. Use only small pieces of fuel.

Dig a separate air shaft at an angle to the pit as this will make the fire burn quicker and prevent excessive smoke. If the ground is too hard to dig, is too waterlogged, or a fire pit is impractical for some other reason, light the fire under a canopy of leafy foliage to disperse smoke. Alternatively, light a surface fire against a high wall.

Above all else, when Escaping and Evading, DO IT QUICKLY and DO IT CAREFULLY http://civiliandefenseforce.com/escapeandevasion.html

Evading Tracker Dogs

Evading Tracker Dogs

So, what can you do to fool the dog? Let’s split the mission up into four phases: lying up, pre-contact, distant contact, and close contact.

LYING UP �
If you have to spend any length of time in a lying-up place, always obey these simple rules, even if you have no proof that a search dog’s operating.

1. Keep as close to the ground as possible. �
2. Put most of your clothing over you, so that the ground absorbs your scent rather than letting it out into the open air. �
3. Breath down into the ground, or at least into the vegetation. �
4. Keep as still as possible. �
5. Bury rubbish under where you are lying.�
6. No smoking, no fires wherever possible. �
7. If you’re discovered by anyone, move away as fast as you can.

PRE-CONTACT

Use all the normal physical camouflage tricks to blend into the environment, plus a few that are designer to throw the dog off the scent.


1. Travel over ground already used by other people or by animals. This makes the dog work much harder to keep on your track �
2. If you’re travelling as part of a group, split up from time to time. Double back on yourself. Leave a false trail whenever possible. �
3. Use streams and running water to confuse the dog, but don’t try to walk for too long in the stream itself – it will slow you down too much. Instead, cross the stream diagonally, doubling back perhaps two or three times so that the dog can’t tell which of your exit tracks is the real one and which ones are dummies. �
4. When you’re preparing food, pay close attention to the direction of the wind. You must bury all wrappings and container, but remember too, to handle them as little as possible. The smell of the food is one thing – your smell on the wrappers tells the dog that it was your food. When you bury the remains, don’t touch the ground with your hands. Use a metal tool of some sort. Whenever you can, sink the rubbish in deep water. The same goes for urine and faeces.

Distant Contact

If you’re sighted from a distance, speed becomes important.

1. Try and tire the dog and handler team; it will be easier to destroy their confidence in each other if they make mistakes through tiredness. �
2. If you’re part of a group then split up straight away, and arrange a rendezvous for later. �
3. Make for hard ground. A road or a rocky surface makes and hold much less scent than a soft one. �
4. If you are in wood country or scrub, double back and change your direction as often as you can. �
5. The tracker dog will be on a long lead; if you can get him tangled up, you can increase the distance between you and him, and maybe break off the contact entirely.

CLOSE CONTACT

If the dog catches up with you, you’re in deep trouble. Not so much from the dog; he’s done his job in finding you. Now you’re in trouble from the handler and whatever combat back-up he may have available.

1. Forget the dog for the moment. You’ll know from the look of him whether he’s an attack dog or a tracker. If he’s a tracker, he probably won’t come near you. �
2. Move as fast as you can. Get out of sight of the handler. �
3. Get rid of loose pieces of clothing, food (Especially food – the dog may be distracted by it when he comes looking for you) and any other pieces of kit that aren’t vital to your mission or your survival. �
4. If the dog sticks with you, you must kill or immobilise it.

Dog tracking teams �


Alot has been written about dog tracking teams and how to avoid them. There �
are many different theories on how best to do it. The obvious methods �
would be to cause harm to the dog or the handler. In WW2 the french underground �
used to use ground up glass mixed in with drugs to avoid being caught. �
The drugs would stop the dog from being able to smell and the ground up glass �
would eventually cause bleeding in the lungs and possibly death to the animal. �
These techniques should only be used in dire situations. I do NOT recomment causing �
harm to animals or people and I do NOT recomment using drugs of anykind. �
I will now cover other techniques to avoid a dog tracking team. �


Everyone knows a dogs sense of smell is much more sensitive than a humans. Some �
of the different types of tracking dogs are ground scent, air scent, cadaver dogs, �
visual tracking. Dogs are trained to smell out what is known as rads. A rad �
is basically decay. When you are walking you are leaving dead skin cells, �
the places your feet fall breaks the crust of the earth killing small plants, bugs, �
micro organisms. This is what the dog is tracking. It’s important to remember that �
it’s not just the human scent the dog is tracking. He’s also tracking the trail you �
are leaving as you pass throug an area. The wind will carry your smell in a cone shape. �
The dog will try to stay in this cone. �

The best way to evade a dog is to overlad it’s senses. Imagine someone pointing a bright �
flashlight in your eyes and how it causes you to shut your eyes. This is sensory overload. �
Now imagine you are running and you pass through an area that has been freshly cut �
by the local farmer. When the dog arrives in this area he will have sensory overload, �
begin sneezing and will lose the scent. �
Now think of when you walk into a room and someone has just sprayed some deodorant. �
The smell is overpowering at first but you get used to it. If you leave the room �
and reenter after a few minutes you can smell the deodorant again. A handler will �
need to clear his dogs nose and restart tracking. This will slow them down but it �
will not stop them. The entertainment industry makes us believe that a dog works �
on his own but the reality is the dog and the handler will compliment each other. �
This is extremely important to remember the dog and the handler will compliment �
each other. They do not work independantly. �

The dog will be first followed by the handler. The handler will usually use a very �
long leash on the dog to give him freedom of movement. The handler will be an �
expert at reading his dogs and he will also be good at tracking. �
The dog moves in the scent cone following the track fairly quickly. The handler �
will know when the dog loses the scent. The handler will then stop at the last �
point where the dog was in the scent cone and he will make the dog go in a �
circle downwind and giving more lenght to the leash. The dog will reacquire �
the scent cone and then they will continue tracking.

Boy do I understand about the economy…. �
Anyways, I digress. I have taken some E and E classes from Kevin and others (and had an unfortunate experience myself so I’m speaking from experience-another story for another time) so my understanding is more of a coagulation of these schools, and some of my own thoughts/experiences, so please forgive me if I’m off the beaten track or just plain got it wrong. Kevin, please correct me if I am. �

“1.I was recently having an argument about E&E, as well as counter tracking, and I was sure of things, but not so much now (as many trackers know, when doubt sets in, it’s hard to get rid of), and I have a few questions: In counter tracking, if you leave a footprint, it is best to destroy AND conceal it, right?” �

First of all, my understanding is that counter tracking is more directed against the trackers. I believe what your referring to (or at least it seemed so to me) is anti-tracking. Generally, anti-tracking are techniques used to change the appearance of the track, hide the track, or trick the tracker into thinking that they have it wrong. And to answer your question, I don’t think it’s that cut and dry. I believe that it depends more on several other factors, some examples being; the situation your in, the terrain your in, and most important-what exactly your intent is. Each situation is different. �

If your intent is to destroy and conceal the track, just how are you going to do so? Are you going to utilize some of the surrounding terrain? And if so, are you just transferring the sign from ground level (i.e. the track) to the upper levels (rob Peter to pay Paul so to speak)? Something to consider. �

Also, is it always best to destroy it? I’m not so sure. For example, you might want to change it’s appearance by making it look older or belonging to someone else completely, thereby tricking the trackers. These are just two examples and again, I don’t think every situation calls for the same answer. That’s just me though. �

2. To confuse dogs, and take away confidence in handlers, running around in circles, and leaving false scent trails works, whereas travel over water doesn’t help, correct? �

This is one way to destroy the handler’s confidence in the dog. I wouldn’t just run around in circles though. For example, when you come upon an area, say for example a distinct section of clearing with some trees, it’s good to run around in circles, but also utilize angles, jagged edges, double back,etc. Try to make it so that it appears, at least to the handler, that the dog is making no sense whatsoever. Now this is assuming that there is enough of a time lapse between the K-9 team and you to do this of course. �

This might not work against a Tactical Tracking Team (hereafter referred to as TTT) however. This team should see right through this ploy. Even if the TTT doesn’t see through the ploy and doesn’t know what’s going on they will simply box the area out and regain the track (or utilize one of several other methods to regain the track). �

3. Does leaving an item of your clothing on your scent trail, with something such as stinging nettle slow pursuit? �

Why? In my opinion, it doesn’t help. And again, what kind of team are we talking about here? In Law Enforcement they traditionally utilize a K-9 team (although this is slooowly changing in that some K-9 handlers and police departments are getting their K-9 team members trained in Tactical Tracking). �
There are some Tactical Tracking Teams also, and both, the traditional K-9 teams, and the TTT, have their advantages, and their disadvantages, which one can exploit (but that is another thread). �

Getting back to the question, in the case of the K-9 team, if anything, it only helps the dog. To the dog, that piece of material is your scent with a piece of stinging nettle attached to it. It only strengthens the dog’s picture of you. It helps the K-9’s handler by giving them another piece of evidence to connect you to the starting point of that track; thereby enabling them to testify in court that it was without a doubt you they were tracking. If possible, you never want to leave anything behind. Evidence is evidence no matter what or how small it is. �

Now if it’s an TTT, the team might slow down a bit initially but they are looking at more than just that piece of material. They might be initially more cautious as they approach that piece of material’s area, however, they are also looking at other sign to see if you are in the area. And you are actually helping that team by leaving them a signpost that says “Hey Guys! I was over here!” To me, any benefits leaving a piece of material are not worth it in either case. �

4.I was once told by a fellow tracker that a certain “powders” mixed with blood can make a dog go crazy, is that correct? �

Are you referring to “bitch scent” (i.e. female dog urine/scent)? I was told the same (i.e. it’s supposed to help distract the male dog), but what if it’s a female dog? Not sure what your referring to here. Are you referring to the more lethal, or even less than lethal substances out there? I’m not comfortable talking about such matters on this forum in the open. Sorry. �

5. And finally, any booby trap, even if a badly concealed spike pit, forces the Tracking Team to slow down, correct? �

Not too comfortable about talking about this either but I’ve seen other members, including Kevin, talk about this so here goes…This is correct. Now your talking counter tracking (counter tracking is against the trackers themselves). However, I don’t see everything so cut and dry. There are pluses and minuses to everything and one has to consider such in these circumstances. �
As mentioned before some of the things you have to consider in balancing out these pluses and minuses are your situation, terrain, and most important, your intent. For example, some of the minuses of laying booby traps are: 1. although efficient, they are indiscriminate. you could injure or kill a friend, or potential ally, thereby possibly turning that friend, or potential ally, against you. 2. If you get a team member than it could have the unintended effect of increasing the resolve of the rest of the team (“Let’s get this SOB for Harry!” type thing). Everything has pluses and minuses. �

These are just a few examples and I could go on but I think you get the point I’m trying to make. �
I hope I didn’t muddy the waters by being anal and reading too much into the questions, but I don’t see some of these E and E situations as so cut and dry because of the hidden variables; which I believe should at least be considered in making your choices. Again, Kevin, please correct me if I’m wrong. Thanks. �

I spoke to two people who are dog handlers. One does fugitive recovery with the Dept. of Corrections, the other I met while involved with a S&R group on the coast. They both said that the pepper wont work but would probably help the dog clear his nose from the sneezing he would do. It would slow him down for a minute or two in an area of only a couple feet. As far as covering in animal **** or dung, they said you would simply smell like a human wearing animal waste to the dog. If you went through water, they and a tracker would simply circle from where they last knew you were, working outward until they found your scent/sign. �
They told me the best chance, aside from getting in a vehicle and riding, is either #1: Hurt/kill the dog �
#2: Hurt/kill the handler�
#3: Make it as hard for the dog and handler to follow as you can. The dog thinks it is a game, but not just any joe blow can handle a tracking dog. So make it hard to follow you. Double back, go over/under obstacles, up cliffs, through and up/down streams, set traps if you have time, anything to slow them down. �
All I know is I began to watch, I mean really watch, my hunting dogs do they’re stuff while trailing, and it is simply amazing where they can pick scents up, and how they naturally circle to pick up lost trails and such. The dogs will win unless you do some dirty fighting.

I have been a dog handler for over ten years. I admit I take a little offence at shooting the handler and/or the dog. However, this is probably your only choice if you are trying to escape. We have tried every thing to throw a dog off track. CN/CS, pepper spray, masking agents, ammonia, bleach, and any other method we could think of. Nothing works to the point of stopping the dog.�
Going to water is great if you want to get caught. Scent lays on top of the water better than land. It slows you down, makes noise, leaves good sign, and possibly makes you hypothermic.�
Our dogs run off lead and will avoid you in close quarters. If they find you, you may not even know it. They will come back and alert me where you are located. On criminal cases I carry an M4.

While your on the move and not using your hands break off small branches from trees like pine, stop to catch your breathe occasionally and whittle down a few small spikes like little pencil sized needle points or big toothpicks. Plant one or two deep in the ground(so it doesn’t give when stepped on) and cover them with a leaf or whatever spread the scent around they will adapt to traps. Eventually plant enough and the dogs or handler might step on a few, and if your really lucky it will give them a nasty non-lethal incentive to abandon pursuit. And if you don’t have a pocket knife on hand then you probably deserve to be captured.

Here is a post I found on a tracking forum concerning tracking dogs.�
Actaully, a well trained dog is not going to be thrown off your scent easily. Getting into a car that is completely closed, and driving on a very busy interstate highway, so that there are lots of cars and trucks to disperse the dead skin cells( rafts) that carry your personal scent signature, may possibly do it, but I know of one televised case where a dog followed the scent from one exit to the next, and actually found the exit where the suspect drove off the interstate. �

There are things that can be used to interrupt a dogs scent glands for awhile, preventing him from following a scent trail further, but I would rather not discuss them here. And there are drugs that can be used that will actually kill the dog if he is following your scent and gets a whiff of them, but I will not mention them here. �
As to rivers and streams, air scenting, as opposed to ground scenting, dog are actually able to smell your scent in the air above the waters, and pick your scent back up on the other bank. You would have to travel downstream in the water for a long distance to lose the dog and his handlers, who would rather work the riverbank than actually go into the water to follow you. Today, you then have to deal with airplanes and helicopters and heat imaging devices that can see you in the woods, where you might hide. �

I worked with a master K-9 trainer teaching visual tracking skills to his k-9 officers, and helped him while he taught scent work to the officers and dogs. We laid out scent tracking problems, both for practice, and for training. One of my best friends, who was a tracker, and also was working his own bloodhounds, ran a trial course for an AKC event, where the trail went through a drainage ditch. The track layer had waded up the stream aaout 50 feet and then climbed out of the ditch on the opposite bank. There was so much disturbance of the grass and weeds that lined the bank that it was easy for Don to see where he came out from where the tracks entered the water. Although the tracks had been layed hours before Don ran the course, his bloodhound had no trouble following the scent up stream, and she tracked the man into a crowded pavillion at a county fair site, and went right up to him where he was sitting up on some bleachers. �

When you understand where the scent the dog is smelling comes from, and that is not just an aroma wafting in the breeze, you understand how difficult it is to lose a scenting dog. 65% of your body heat escapes off the nape of you neck and back of your head. With it goes thousands of dead skin cells. You shirt sleeves act like funnels forcing air out and throwing out thousands of skin cells . Your pant legs likewise act like huge pepper shakers, and send out thousands of dead skin cells with every step. Run, and the shaker puts down more cells. The cells are attacked by bacteria, and as they decompose as they are eaten, they give off the odor the dog is sniffing. If it was not for the presense of bacteria, we would be buried in miles of thick layers of bones, and dead skin cells. In fact, Life could not exist without the bacteria that live in the air, and soil.d So, it only takes a well trained dog handler, and a well trained and practiced scenting dog, to follow a trail. The handler is more likely to wear out than the dog will. And, if they get off trail, it is almost always handler error that is responsible for the move. Even my friend, the master K-9 instructor screwed up during a practice session one day, pulling his dog off my scent, to wander off after some visible tracks made several days before by someone working on the grounds. I purposely stopped when I saw those tracks. stomped my feet several times, scuffed the ground to bleed the vegetation to give a ripe odor, before walking on in the same direction I had been heading before seeing the cross tracks. He was embarrassed, but admitted that this was the very reason he wanted to do this practice session, as he had not run his dog on a scent trail in weeks, and was afraid he was getting rusty! �

That dog , a few years later, back tracks a man who was found hanged in a tree through the woods( going from strong scent to weaker scent) to the man’s car, where they fond his wallet and car keys, and found a note on the front seat with a map showing the path he was going to walk through those woods to the tree he had chosen to use to commit suicide. My friend had then the only dog certified to be able to do back tracking scent work, and I know of no other case in Illinois, where such a feat was done, and verified not only by footprints found on the trail, but by the victim’s own map. Police found a suicide note at his home. He is one heckova trainer, and that was one fine dog.

Dogs have no trouble finding people in an urban environment, they track missing kids, fleeing fugitives, VERY frequently in urban environments. They lock onto your scent regardless of the environment the scent is in. Covering yourself in a unique scent….for example deer urine, in a urban environment, would make it EASIER to track you. �

For some reason people think of evading tracking dogs in the wilderness. If you’re not IN the wilderness now, and THSTF, why would you be fleeing dogs in the wilderness after? You need to learn to evade in your current AO. �

The best evasion tactic is to DELAY the dog and buy yourself time for a better plan. The risk is you don’t know how far behind the do team currently is. They don’t bay and bark like in the movies. The most effective tool to delay a tracking dog is a fence. Or better yet….10 fences in a row. To reaquire scent they have to circle and recircle until they pick it up. �

Doubling back is effective because they way a dog determines the direction of it’s target is by STRENGTH of scent. If it’s stronger in one direction….that’s the direction it’s target is heading. �

Avoid water at all costs. Ever SMELL a wet dog…..the smell is stronger. Same with people, once you get out of the water you’re dropping concentrated scent in a clear direction. Also judging by some of the previous posts by some people here…swimming with 80 lbs of BOB on is a bad idea.

you can buy a spray bottle of expel oder neutralizer for like 10 bucks? they also have a wash for clothing and body soap too….if a deer cant smell you ,i would think a dog cant either? just make sure you dont have any skin/hair exposed to the air…clean all equipment as well…

Speaking as a retired correctional officer I saw two ways inmates used to thwart the drug dogs. One was to put their dope in the bottom of a coffee can, the other was to put it in the bottom of a deodorant like a speed stick. I guess those two smells just overwhelmed the dogs noses. �

I imagine that anything you have at hand that is fairly pungent should do the same trick.

(1) Dog characteristics. The dog(s) follows a trail faster and can continue to track at night. Despite years of domestication, dogs retain most of the traits of their wild ancestors. If put to controlled use, these traits are effective when tracking.

(a) Endurance. A dog can hold a steady pace and effectively track for up to eight hours. The speed can be up to 10 miles per hour, only limited by the speed of the handler. The speed and endurance can be further increased by the use of vehicles and extra teams.

(b) Mental characteristics. Dogs are curious by nature. Dogs can be aggressive or lazy, cowardly or brave. A dog’s sensory traits are what make him seem intelligent.

(c) Aggressiveness. Tracking dogs are screened and trained. They are aggressive trackers and eager to please their handler.

(d) Sensory characteristics. Knowledge of the following sensory traits and how the dog uses them helps the evader to think ahead of the dog.

    • Sight. A dog’s vision is the lesser of the sensing abilities. They see in black and white and have difficulty spotting static objects at more than 50 yards. Dogs can spot moving objects at considerable distances, however, they do not look up unless they are training up a tree. A dog’s night vision is no better than man’s.
    • Hearing. A dangerous problem for the evader is the dog’s ability to hear. Dogs can hear quieter and higher frequencies than humans. Even more dangerous is their ability to locate the source of the sound. Dogs can hear 40 times better than men.
    • Smell. The dog’s sense of smell is about 900 times better than a human. It is by far the greatest asset and largest threat to the evader. Dogs can detect minute substances of disturbance on the ground or even in the air. Using distracting or irritating odors (for example, CS powder or pepper) only bothers the dog for a short time (3 to 5 minutes). After the odor is discharged by the dog, he can pickup a cold trail even quicker. The dog smells odors from the ground and air and forms scent pictures. The scent pictures are put together through several sources of smell.
    • �–Individual scent. This is the most important scent when it comes to tracking. Vapors horn body secretions work their way through the evader’s shoes onto the ground. Sweat from other parts of the body rubs off onto vegetation and other objects. Scent is even left in the air.
    • �–Reinforcing scent. Objects are introduced to the dog that reinforce the scent as it relates to the evader. Some reinforcing scents could be on the evader’s clothing or boots, or the same material as is used in his clothing. Even boot polish can help the dog.
    • �–Ecological scent. For the dog, the most important scent comes from the earth itself. By far, the strongest smells come from disturbances in ecology such as crushed insects, bruised vegetation, and broken ground. Over varied terrain, dogs can smell particles and vapors that are constantly carried by the evader wherever he walks. �

(2) Favorable tracking conditions. Seldom will the conditions be ideal for the tracker and dog teams. During training, they become familiar with the difficulties they will face and learn to deal with them. The following conditions are favorable for tracker and dog teams.

(a) Fresh scent. This is probably the most important factor for tracker teams. The fresher the scent, the greater chances of success.

(b) Verified starting point. If trackers have a definite scent to introduce to the dogs, it helps the dogs to follow the correct trail.

(c) Unclean evader. An unclean evader leaves a more distinctive scent.

(d) Fast-moving evader. A fast-moving evader causes more ground disturbances and individual scent from sweat.

(e) Night and early morning. The air is thicker and the scent lasts longer.

(f) Cool, cloudy weather. This limits evaporation of scent.

(g) No wind. This keeps the scent close to the ground. It also keeps it from spreading around, allowing the dog to follow the correct route.

(h) Thick vegetation. This restricts the dissemination of scent and holds the smell.

(3) Unfavorable tracking conditions. Marked loss in technique proficiency can be expected when the following conditions occur.

(a) Heat. This causes rapid evaporation of scent.

(b) Unverified start point. The dogs may follow the wrong route or scent.

(c) Low humidity. Scent does not last as long.

(d) Dry ground. Dry ground does not retain scent.

(e) Wind. Wind disperses scent and causes the dog to track downwind.

(f) Heavy rain. This washes the scent away.

(g) Distractive scents. These take the dog’s attention away from the trail. Some of these scents are blood, meat, manure, farmland, and populated areas.

(h) Covered scent. Some elements in nature cause the scent picture to be partially or completely covered. Examples are sand that can blow over the tracks and help to disguise the track; snow and ice that can form over the track and make it nearly impossible to follow; and water. Water is one of the most difficult conditions for a tracker dog team. Water that is shallow, especially if rocks or vegetation protrude, can produce a trail that a dog can follow with varied degrees of success.

Regarding dogs: It has been mentioned, and is true that pepper, and other such ruses do nothing to hinder tracking dogs, indeed pepper does quite the opposite, it will actually enable the dog to track you better. Consider that a dog’s nose is quite sensitive and capable of differentiating millions of different odors hundreds or even thousands at a time. When a dog has tracked you it becomes fatigued from the active tracking. You throw some pepper to cover your tracks and voila the dog sneezes, and clears out a multitude of irrelevant scents that he had acuired. He can now track you even more efficiently than before. Good job, you’re as good as caught. �

Your best bet if evading tracking dogs is to understand the way dogs track. There are two types – ground trackers, and air trackers. Bloodhound types are ground trackers, their noses are on the ground sniffing away and every step you take will be followed by them relentlessly. Air trackers, on the other hand track your scent with their heads and noses in the air, catching the bits of scent that float hither and yon. Ground trackers can track older scents better than air trackers, but air trackers have the advantage that if your spoor trail (that you made by zig zagging about the country side) comes close he will make up ground by ignoring your odors and heading for the strongest i.e. newest scent.�

How do you confound these dogs? You can’t. What you can do is to understand these differences in the dogs tracking types. For the inexorable ground trackers like bloodhounds, you focus on maneuvering though as difficult a terrain as possible. You won’t hinder the dog, but his trainer who is holding the leash(es) will be hard pressed to follow the dog through briar patches, across barbed wire fences (several times in a row) etc. Wear out the dog handler. �

When it comes to air trackers your best option is to kill the dog. Snares and booby traps for the dog are good ideas. Also if your are in a rural area kill the dog and take his liver, it’s high in protein and vitamins galore, plus the dog handlers will not likely send more dogs after you when they know you are willing to eat his dogs.