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The Less Things Change: Alaska 2021

The Less Things Change: Alaska 2021

by Kevin Estela September 08, 2021 1 Comment

It’s been a couple years since I traveled to Alaska and a couple years seems like way too long. Last time, I came with a handful of friends to explore the Kenai Peninsula and drive around the interior a bit.  That trip was incredible with plenty of fishing, laughs, and site-seeing. The opportunity came up this year to go back and highlight some of the good times I had before but from a new perspective through the lens my job at Fieldcraft Survival provides.  How do you attempt to replicate the awesome group chemistry you naturally had with your friends but this time in front of a camera for the audience to enjoy. The answer is, you don’t. You must simply trust you will have a great time in this rugged environment. When you have an opportunity to go back to Alaska, you don’t pass it up. While the world has changed some since 2019 when I was last here, I’m happy to report there is something familiar about this land. You see, the less things change the more the land keeps calling me back.

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Every Man, a Rifleman

Every Man, a Rifleman

by Kevin Estela August 25, 2021 1 Comment

Author’s Foreword:
In August 2020, I attended GUNSITE Academy’s 250 Pistol Course. I had applied and received the Jeff Cooper Memorial Foundation’s scholarship (for more information, please visit jeffcooperfoundation.org) for free tuition to this baseline course all students must take. I attended and was one of 23 students broken up into two classes. At the end of the course, I earned the “Silver Chicken” which is the silver raven pin for shootoff winner. Upon completion of the course, I swore I would attend another class in the future to further my studies in the ways of the late great Lt. Col Jeff Cooper. I set aside some funds, ammo, and time and by September, had my deposit down on the 270 Rifle course.

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Considerations at Elevation

Considerations at Elevation

by Kevin Estela June 16, 2021

In early June 2021, I was invited by my friends at Kifaru to join them on a backpack fishing trip to the high mountains of Colorado. If you’re not familiar with Kifaru, it is a company known for opening up the backcountry with their lineup of backpacks, sleeping bags, ultralight shelters, and hunting accessories. The company is led by Aron Snyder, a modern-day traditional bowhunting legend along with a team of employees that live the mountain life and who can often be found in the mountains at elevation. Kifaru is situated just outside of Denver, the mile-high city. Compared to my home state of Connecticut where I lived for many years at elevations ranging from 131’ to 390’ feet, the elevation of Colorado is significantly greater. What we consider mountains on the east coast, Coloradians think of them as molehills. Even though I moved to UT in January and have lived at 4524’ and work at 5587’, the trip with Kifaru would take me to double that elevation and help me identify some considerations at elevation. I can only imagine what this trip would have been like if I didn’t have half a year to acclimatize. As you’ll read, when you travel to greater heights, you need to be aware and consider some of the possible effects on your body and trip you wouldn’t expect at lower elevations.

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The Modern Warrior Conference 2021

The Modern Warrior Conference 2021

by Kevin Estela May 26, 2021

Author’s Foreword:
I’m a perpetual student. I enjoy learning and will always be a student for life. Recently, I was invited as a guest to the Modern Warrior Conference. I could not make it last year for the event due to COVID restrictions and I wasn’t going to let the highly-survivable pandemic prevent me from going this year. An invitation like this isn’t handed out to everyone. This event started in 2020 as a fundraiser for a family member of a veteran and doubled this year in size. Given the interest of those in attendance and their willingness to train paired with the growing unrest found on Main St. America, I predict it will continue to grow and become a regular event. The information provided was both wide and deep and the student in me was refreshed with the wide array of content. Many of the readers of this blog definitely share the interests I have and should think about the importance of this training.

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Knife Carry for Women

Knife Carry for Women

by Nicki October Keating May 19, 2021

Have you ever purchased a knife for your wife/girlfriend, only to see it wind up permanently residing in your kitchen drawer? Unlike most men (who have no issues displaying their blades to the world throughout the day), women can find themselves uncomfortable or even ostracized when attempting to carry a knife out of the house. Luckily, there are numerous different ways for female knife enthusiasts to bring their hobby outside without sacrificing comfort or effectiveness.

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Is Blacksmithing Dead?

Is Blacksmithing Dead?

by Nicki October Keating April 13, 2021 1 Comment

The blacksmithing trade is dead! Blacksmithing has become mostly an art or hobby to be admired at quaint old historical towns or your occasional craft fair, asopposed to a trade found in every town and city. With the advancement of industry, technology and societal changes the trade has been forever altered andis mostly fading into an obscure distant memory. The image of a blacksmith is mostly derived from movies. Picture a small town with a muscle bulging man covered in sweat and black soot as he toils over the hot forge. Now I know you have pictured Andy Roy in exactly this way as he is making your most beloved fixed blades. The truth is, the modern knife maker is as much business man as a skillful brute forger.

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Rules of 3

Rules of 3

by Kevin Estela April 07, 2021

In the survival community, most people have heard of the rule of 3. That is, on average, a human being can live approximately 3 minutes without oxygenated blood running through their body, about 3 hours exposed to the elements, 3 days without water, and 3 weeks without food. You’ve probably heard other additional “3s” that are added to this list including the body’s ability to survive approximately 3 degrees off of the 98.6 degree homeostasis and perhaps even 3 seconds to make a decision. Keep in mind, these are all averages and you may be to the left or to the right of these numbers. Well, I’m here to let you know there are additional rules of 3 you should know that come up frequently in survival courses. These are easy to remember and you should add them to your understanding of readiness.

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Locations, Locations, Locations

Locations, Locations, Locations

by Brian Griffin March 17, 2021 2 Comments

Most of the time when the phrase “location, location, location” is used, it's in a larger geographical context. It usually refers to a good place to live, vacation, or set up a business. Or maybe the best place for a camp site, hunting blind, or photography observation point. However in this case it's about something much smaller but no less important, where we store specific items in our kits and why.

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Know When You Must Go

Know When You Must Go

by Kevin Estela March 03, 2021 1 Comment

Have you ever felt like all the signs in the world were pointing you in a particular direction? You know what I mean, you can’t escape a particular topic from coming up in discussions with friends, on the news, in your social media feed, and essentially in the air all around you? Well, I have been getting signs from all directions to write this blog about a particular topic I haven’t been able to escape. If you haven’t been watching the news, we know our fellow Americans in Texas were dealt a very cold blow. Record lows and snowfall crippled the state and turned otherwise tough-as-nails Texans into the almost helpless. I use the term “almost” because the concept of readiness requires willingness and if you are ready, you can prepare ahead of time for getting stuck indoors for 3 days, a week, a month or more. Let’s face it, if you are reading this, you survived COVID last year and probably noticed when supplies slowly started to make their way back to shelves. You may have stocked up or you may have been among the many who said, “it won’t happen again.” If you stocked up, you can hunker down but if not, your best bet may be to bug out. That decision isn’t an easy one to make since you are leaving behind your home. At some point though, you must make that decision when you know when you must go.

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Accouterments, Complements, and Considerations

Accouterments, Complements, and Considerations

by Brian Griffin February 03, 2021 2 Comments

As much as we enjoy them, not every day can be a picnic on the shore with our special someone. And I think that's by design to keep those days as special as they are. As it's only through the not so great days that we gain the ability to appreciate the blessings in our lives, and not take them for granted. And us learning to not take those times for granted is exactly how we learn to prepare for the days from the other end of the spectrum.

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Cross-Country Travel

Cross-Country Travel

by Kevin Estela January 27, 2021 3 Comments

In January of 2021, I embarked on a cross country trip from Connecticut to Utah where I would start a new career with the company Fieldcraft Survival. This marked an incredible life change where I not only left my comfortable teaching career of 14 years in a public high school, but also the townhouse I called home for 7.5 years. It’s one thing to keep your job and switch homes and another thing to keep your home and switch jobs. Switching both places where you live and work is absolutely something that takes careful planning and consideration. My move required transporting most of the contents of my house 2500 miles and some of those contents I would not trust to moving companies. It also meant not getting arrested with more than a couple firearms and plenty of ammo in tow. While it was stressful, the move didn’t break me. Like all moments with pressure and stress in life, this change would definitely make me stronger if it didn’t make me crack in the process.

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The Contingent Mind

The Contingent Mind

by Brian Griffin January 13, 2021 4 Comments

Back in November I wrote an article on a small pocket contingency kit. A little something extra to augment the usual items we carry. Our daily carry gear are actually our first line of contingency mitigation, even if we've carried them so long we've quit seeing that aspect of our edc. Because the whole point is be prepared to tackle our day to day life, and whatever comes with it. To be able to overcome any mundane obstacles we might encounter on any Tuesday morning's commute to work, Saturday trip to the zoo with the kiddos, or a Sunday outing with our congregation after church.

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