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The Fine Art of Wiping your Butt with Snow

The Fine Art of Wiping your Butt with Snow

by Kevin Estela January 22, 2020 2 Comments

Admit it, you feel a little strange for clicking on this story. You may even feel like you are in need of a shower or maybe a confession. Who the hell wipes their butt with snow? Well, quite literally the answer to that is “no one” because there is not a snowball’s chance of being in hell. Snowballs, well more snow cones, make great toilet paper.  Practically, the answer to that same question is many guys and gals who forget their TP and don’t want to offer up a sacrificial sock. Wiping your butt with snow is not strange and you don’t have to worry about being seen as a weirdo. Well, maybe some people will make faces when you tell them you are among the brave who do but remember, you don’t have to tell anyone.

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In With The New

In With The New

by Brian Griffin January 01, 2020

The holiday season is a wonderful example of saving the best for last. This is because even though there are other holidays throughout the year, it is the ones at the end of the year that celebrate the bountiful harvests, the spirit of giving, and the renewal of life. For me the week between Christmas and New Year's Day is a time of reflection. I look back on where I was when the year began so I can determine which areas of my life I am happiest with and which areas still need more work. Not so much to make some sort of grand New Years resolution I may or may not keep, as to just make a game plan that should afford me a better chance of improving in the areas I'm less than pleased with.

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Jingle All The Way

Jingle All The Way

by Brian Griffin December 18, 2019 4 Comments

The Yuletide season is upon us once more. The temperatures are dropping and the snow flakes are falling as we wind our way through December into winter. The colorful lights are twinkling and the carols are playing, making spirits bright and making children laugh and sing and smile. 

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Waynearing

Waynearing

by Brian Griffin December 11, 2019 2 Comments

Sometime in fifteenth-century England a new word came to be. It was a new term for travelers who went abroad through the countrysides, especially those who traveled longer distances on foot. It has gone through a couple of spelling changes since then, but the modern version we use today is Wayfarer.

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The Gift of Preparedness

The Gift of Preparedness

by Kevin Estela December 04, 2019

At the end of each seminar I teach, I always open the floor to questions, comments and thoughts from the audience. One question that comes up regularly is, “How do I get my (Insert someone special here) to be more prepared?” There is no singular answer to this question. We may be the most ready people to deal with an emergency and we may have a repertoire of survival skills to draw from but those closest to us may be entirely dependent on our ability. When compared, side-by-side, the newbie will likely notice the disparity in gear, skill and experience and rather than striving to be equal, they simply accept their subordinate position and fail to prepare. They may also not be willing to go with you on your trips or experience the outdoors fearing it is overwhelming or quick to call it “crazy.” Crazy to me is recognizing the exposure to danger and doing nothing to mitigate it. One possible answer to the question about introducing your loved ones/friends to preparedness is very simple,

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Happy Thanksgiving!!

Happy Thanksgiving!!

by Brian Griffin November 27, 2019 4 Comments

Because our lives can be so hectic and frenetic, it can be easy for all the marketing hype to get to us this time of year, and thus cause even more stress as we enter the holiday season. There are so many people vying for our Christmas money that it can leave us breathless and feeling guilty that we cannot afford to just buy all of the things that our children and loved ones see and like. Yet the reality is that most of us can't afford to buy it all, even if we wanted to, and odds are that no-one really needs to be buying it all for lots of reasons. Most of us don't need all of the bright shiny colorful things we are bombarded with every year at this time, but most marketing firms use our own human psychology against us in order to convince us that we do, at least temporarily...long enough to make the purchases, which tends to lead to even more stress afterwards.

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Can you Answer These AR15 Questions?

Can you Answer These AR15 Questions?

by Kevin Estela November 20, 2019 1 Comment

A couple months ago, I broke from my usual routine of providing bushcraft and survival-related entries to this blog and wrote about good habits that should be developed for home-defense shotgun use. I enjoyed writing that piece as it allowed me to share another side of me, the firearms enthusiast, with the readers here who may only know me as the guy behind the “KE” of the KE Bushie crafted by Fiddleback Forge. That blog post provided safety tips and common sense skills you should have for effectiveness and competence. The shotgun is just one firearm the modern law-abiding and defense-minded civilian should own and become proficient with; another is the AR. This firearm, unlike the shotgun, has become the topic of a lot of debate in the mainstream media. 

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Winterized EDC

Winterized EDC

by Brian Griffin November 13, 2019

We are almost two-thirds of the way through autumn now here in the northern hemisphere, so it's that time of year once again. It's time to put a some thought into dealing with frigid temperatures at inopportune moments, and being able to avoid cold weather injuries in the process if something goes wrong.

When the temperature outside our front door has dropped to the point the most common liquid on this planet has become a solid, if you haven't already done so, it's time to take a few minutes to winterize your daily set up. There is a very simple reason for this. 

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Autumn Bewareness

Autumn Bewareness

by Brian Griffin November 06, 2019

It was just a walk in the park, and that is exactly where the following illustration images came from. On one hand the herbalist in me was acutely aware of some of the dangerous plants growing around me, and on the other hand the father in me was acutely aware of the children playing near and among them. It only took a few seconds to realize the parents there were just as oblivious to the nature of those plants as their children. So I explained to the parents of the little ones, the toddlers so well known for putting all sorts of random objects in their mouths, just how dangerous some of the plants growing in that area were. That conversation became the inspiration for this article, and later that evening, after the kids were gone, I took some of these illustration images I needed to support it.

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Water Water Everywhere... Just Be Careful What You Drink...

Water Water Everywhere... Just Be Careful What You Drink...

by Brian Griffin October 30, 2019 3 Comments

With water being quite firmly entrenched at number-3 in the human hierarchy of basic needs, most of us are aware of just how dependent on it we are. Yet as such a basic requirement for life, it is typically so well tended to by our municipalities that we often lose sight of just how badly we need it until it's not there. The consecutive breaking of two of our local water company's 36-inch water mains in two weeks in September, and it leaving many without access to water for a few days, was a poignant reminder of just how fragile the infrastructure of our waterworks really is. And thus so too is our access to potable water.

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Fall Tarp Camping

Fall Tarp Camping

by Kevin Estela October 16, 2019

It’s that time of year again. That time when I tell people I’m going to the woods and plan on sleeping underneath a tarp. “A tarp? That’s it?!” is the usual reply. Camping with a tarp in the fall and winter is a different endeavor than camping with one in warmer weather. Come fall, those buzzing and biting pests are long gone and the outdoorsman can reap the benefits of packing less and lighter gear.Personally, I don’t think many experiences can rival waking up on a fall morning with the wind on your face, the fall foliage all around you and the sunlight unimpeded from making its way into your shelter. Without a floor, a tarp is an excellent shelter if you’re concerned about tracking dirt into your sleeping area. Tarps also cut down on unnecessary mosquito netting weight.  With these considerations in mind, the idea of sleeping under “just a tarp” isn’t so crazy afterall. Tarp camping really means more visibility and a more “intimate” experience with the outdoors with fewer walls separating you from the elements. Before you start thinking this blog entry is going down that spiritual “hug-a-tree” route, let’s refine the focus to cover the basics of what you should know before you pitch a tarp in the great outdoors. Sleeping under a tarp, more specifically how you set up your tarp camp, can say a lot about your outdoor skills. Here’s some information to make you look like a pro.

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Goldenrod

Goldenrod

by Brian Griffin October 16, 2019

As we move into the cooler time of the year, the subject of fire starting becomes more of an important consideration on woodland outings. Campfires are not only more enjoyable during the autumn and winter seasons, they can actually become a necessity to avoid hypothermia. With that in mind, I am doing this blog post on one of the easiest to use tinder materials I know of.

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