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Monday, February 28, 2011

The "Shemagh Pouch" experiment part one

So I wanted to see what I could do to carry gear with just a shemagh and some shoelaces. This wasent meant to represent a real survival kit I will build a proper kit at a later date. I just wanted to see how much I could fit in it.

I have a video on it I am working on getting it uploaded at the moment. In the mean time here is a video by Dave Canterbury of Wilderness Outfitters on the topic the only difference is that his is carried as a backpack where as mine is carried like a messenger bag.

In a couple of weeks I am going to improve on this and build a dedicated buscraft kit for the "Shemagh Pouch" and take it for a test spin. I might also try and make an arrow quiver out of a shemagh once I get into traditional archery.

Cheers folks

Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Preparedness Portfolio

Today we are going to talk about builiding a preparedness portfolio. This is one of the first steps that I personally feel you should do before buying any fancy knives or guns. Basically this is a document that covers not only your bug out plans and disaster preparedness but also personal records, financial data, insurance information and medical information

A lot of people like to prepare for the end of the world and zombies but not enough people prepare for the hospital trip they might take next Tuesday. This document is intended to cover any and all aspects of emergency preparation.

Step 1: Build a survival portfolio.

As everyone knows knowledge is power so as such it makes sense to have a plan for everything becoming “prepared” isn’t something you can really do in a weekend with a few YouTube videos and a trip to Costco it is a complete change of your entire lifestyle that will occur over many years. The first thing I feel you should do before spending any real money is simply get a binder and some paper and write down your plans, where do you live? Whats the terrain like? Where do you want to go?, what do you want to do?, develop specific plans for specific disasters, write down any information you feel you may need such as your contact information, family contacts, fellow survivalists, phone numbers and addresses for any local agencies, hospitals, emergency centres, poison control centres etc If you have a family member with a life threatening disease such as diabetes write down all specific details about this individual, medications, allergies etc so you can provide accurate rapid information to paramedics/medical responders, have any insurance details handy that you can give to your insurance agency in the event of a fire or some other disaster.

Keep a detailed record of the contents of your bug out bags and first aid kits. Also write down a purchase list of all of the things you need to buy for each specific kit, If some supplies have an expiry date write it down and check the list regularly so you know when to replace things. Write down the serial numbers of your gear and keep a record of it if only for insurance purposes. This exercise is not only good for personal preparation and insurance purposes but its also a good way to instill some discipline and consistency into your daily routine.

Keep records of all of your information in this binder even copies of things like birth certificates, marriage license, any contracts you sign, any documents with your name on it. It not a cool sort of preparedness that can make you look like a ninja on YouTube and if zombies are tearing down your front door then sure its not going to do much of anything but this binder might save your neck one day even if its just with an insurance agency.

Now as this binder is going to contain a lot of personal information related to banking, health, and supplies plus other vital maintaining solid information security is of the utmost importance. I keep mine in a locked case. You might want to consider the same. Sentry brand fireproof boxes are only a couple bucks at walmart they aren’t the most secure thing on earth but its better then just sticking it on the bookshelf.

While taking some sort of high speed shotgun course is all well and good you need to build plans for all levels of disaster this doesn’t just include earthquakes and riots it includes deaths in the family, divorces, job loss, identity theft, car accidents etc. Basically anything that can go wrong in your life make a note of it in the portfolio and then build a plan for it.

This is a very simple exercise that only calls for a few bucks at Staples and little bit of your time.

Cheers folks.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Writers wanted!

For any of you who used to frequent the forums - and those of you who didn't, I would like to create a hub for those community minded helpers out of civiliansheepdog.

And do the call goes out.

Those interested in writing for should leave contact information in the comment section of this post.

Review: MTM Snap Caps - 12g

Went to my local shooting sports store today and picked up two packages of MTM Snap Caps.

I had used the red steel snap caps in my CFSC testing and thought this was the only - or most readily available brand of snap caps. I called the store on a whim just to see if they had any more, as I had wanted to practice reloading drills, running dry.

They informed me that the MTM packs came in groups of three at a price point of 10 bucks a pack. Compared to the price I paid from Brownelles for the steel ones, this was a fantastic buy. Some would probably argue that the steel ones better emulate a live round given their wheight, however - I'm trying to hone my movements for now and don't believe that I have to rely as much on the reality of the round as much as I do my muscles memorizing the movements I'm making.

A few things - they're black plastic and definitely light. I think they're a little bit smaller then a standard 2 3/4 " shotgun shell - maybe a bit thinner. I believe this is what caused a few failure to feed's during my practice time with them. I'm not completely ruling out operator error - I'm just saying that they feel a little small in the hand.

At 10 bucks a pair, I couldn't help getting enough to fit my side saddle - which is the second reason I wanted to get them. I found that my side saddle was REALLY tight to get rounds in and out of. I'm going to leave these in place and hopefully break it in a little.

Overall - a good purchase and I would recommend this product easily at ten bucks for a pack of three.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Responsibility - Awareness

On forums and message-boards, people generally throw the word 'awareness' around in dealing with civilian sheepdog related topics. Awareness is broad and complicated. It refers to both personal and public awareness.

Firstly, a couple questions to get us going...

-Are we, as dedicated citizens required to help others become aware of particular situations we currently face?

-Should we be 'switched on' at all times?

-What conversations are appropriate?

We have to be aware. This much is simply obvious. Sometimes we forget that, in between watching youtube specials and google'ing new gear, that we all have lives to lead. Am I 'switched on' all the time? Yes. Let me explain.

My 'radar' - as I call it - is always on. More often than not, it's on stand-by in the back of my head. Walk me down a corridor in a neighbourhood I'm not familiar with and I'm a different person. I don't take for granted the timely arrival of police services in a unfriendly situation. I don't assume that people will always be there to help.

I'm aware of my surroundings and the people that enter them. This is one type of awareness - physical awareness.

I'm also mentally aware of my predispositions towards certain people and places - given my history with them. I'm conscious of the fact that certain people do not share my point of view on certain subjects. Prepping, economy, politics.

That's fine - it's all personal, and everyone is automatically personally responsible for being aware of the actions and events that surround them. I really couldn't care how comfortable a person feels in their house - what if it burns down. Sure, they've got a nice car - what if it's stolen. Be aware - don't depend on exterior forces to do this for you.

But what about any responsibility to the public?

We aren't paid by the government to help anyone. We certainly aren't rewarded.

I believe in community and volunteerism. If you think that something bad is about to happen - and you have the time and material to help someone prepare for this and feel safe doing so... by all means.

I believe in community and volunteerism. It's lost - but we can find it.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Kershaw Clash: New EDC

Today I went out to Bass Pro in Vaughn, ON. I went in looking for something else and came out with this guy.

The Kershaw Clash.

It's about hand sized and a bit heavier than it looks.

Prior to obtaining this one, I have become accustomed to using a Kershaw Leek, a CRKT M16 EDC and a Boker Reality Series Recurve.

I was looking at a SOG folder but decided to go with kershaw for a number of reasons. Number one, customer service. before Christmas I got the Leek. During it's use it had become way to slick to open. Being the little DIY'er that I like to believe I am, I thought I'd take it apart and tighten the spring up a little. Not knowing anything about assisted-open knives, I unscrewed it with the spring wound.


Parts go flying everywhere, bending the tension bar in the process. After a few emails with Kershaw - I recieved a parts kit and repair tool in the mail. FREE.

I got it from a third party source and the company STILL honoured their product. Needless to say I was VERY happy with this exchange and was more than willing to buy another product.

I purchased Kershaw because I have NEVER - read: NEVER - had a problem with their blades. I had dinged up the CRKT, chipped the Boker.... that Leek has taken a BEATING and still cuts. It could definitely use a good sharpening, but it CUTS. I've cut boxes out of drywall with it, and it still CUTS. Good in my books.

Now, onto the Clash.

It fits in the palm of my hand with about a centimeter out on each end. I don't care much for measurements - instead, we'll stick to real-world ratios. The clip on the back is nice and strong. It's wide and really sturdy.

The knife POPS open - could use a little working, which I'm sure is bound to happen once I am back at work.

The frame very closely resembles a Leek. The screws are all in the same spots and the blade dips into the frame the same way. It's definitely heavier than the Leek but not so much that it won't be adopted into my EDC kit.

I got the spearpoint blade with semi serrations on the bottom, my first serrated blade!

It stands up to the fingernail test very well. Very, very sharp.

Overall, a very nice knife at a very affordable rate.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

MARSTAR - A firearms dealer in Canada has a fantastic deal on right now.

199$CAD gets you a genuine chineese SKS - a hardcase and a tshirt.

"Close To Engage" by Nutnfancy

The Sheepdog Concept - Nutnfancy

Nuntfancy - internet based reviewer of gear and guns. This guy has some valuable insight in terms of the conversation surrounding the sheepdog concept.

How it began.

- On Sheep, Wolves and Sheepdogs - Dave Grossman

Required Reading.

And it begins.