American Partisan: Knife Sharpening 101

NC Scout, writing at American Partisan, has a good introductory article to sharpening stuff, Survivalist 101: Knife Sharpening. Like NCS, and probably many readers, I, too, have received some good cuts because of using a dull knife. Most often this happens in someone else’s kitchen because someone is afraid that having sharp knives will lead to cuts when the opposite is usually true. Yes, you can cut yourself with a sharp knife, but the cuts I have given myself with my own knives have tended to be around the severity of a paper cut, and can be blamed on my own inattention to the task at hand. With a dull knife, you end up applying more force than should be necessary and the knife or the object to be cut rolls and something like a finger is suddenly the recipient of a heavy, dull knife whack.

The ability to keep a good edge on a blade is a principle task to anyone spending time in the outdoors. The old saying, “A dull knife will cut you” is absolutely true and I’ve got the scars on my hands to prove it. Once before loading the birds for an air assault I flayed the tip of my left ring finger to the bone cutting 550 cord for dummy lanyards for my guys. Wrapped up in electrical tape and stuffed in my glove, it was a painful reminder that a working with a dull knife takes more effort to cut, meaning less controlability and probably a little less care- proving that age old idiom correct. Had I known then what I know now, I’d have had a better working edge on that old Buck-Strider like it has today.

Four of my everyday kitchen knives. Two Ontario Old Hickories, Jeff White Camp knife, Condor Bushlore.

One of the takeaways from the various schools I’ve attended and classes I’ve taught is that knife sharpening is becoming a lost art. Outside of folks with some serious culinary training, like chefs and traditional butchers, knife sharpening seems to fall into one of two categories- either deferring to a marketing gimmick or handing the blade off to someone who knows what they’re doing. Often that’s an old timer with patience and skill that’s been fostered over the years and probably handed down a few generations.  That said, sharpening is not hard. It takes time to find and perfect your technique. The key to it all is consistency- sharpness is a function of symmetry between the edge geometry.

For the entry level sharpener, starting with a simple blade is critical to learning the craft. I suggest picking up a Old Hickory knife in 1095 and learning how to sharpen on it. They’re cheap, durable, and disposable and you’ll learn a lot more from a simple blade than something wildly complicated. Knife edges come in a handful of different types depending on the intended purpose. For me, I tend to favor full flat grinds or convex for both general purpose needs and relative ease of sharpening. But for the beginner finding a flat ground knife is probably the best to learn to sharpen on. The learning curve is low and you’ll get better results faster which will in turn raise that confidence level. The other thing to know as a beginner is that while different types of steels suit different purposes, they also have varying degrees of difficulty with common sharpening tools…

Click here to read the entire article at American Partisan.

New Doom and Bloom Antibiotics and Infectious Disease Book

The Altons, authors of the Doom and Bloom Survival Medicine Handbook, have released a new book, Alton’s Antibiotics and Infectious Disease: The Layman’s Guide to Available Antibacterials in Austere Settings. Their Survival Medicine Handbook has been reviewed 477 times on Amazon with an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 and was well-reviewed elsewhere, too.

…We decided to educate the family medic about how to identify various infectious diseases and the medicines that cure them and their veterinary “equivalents”.  We did this over the years in articles, videos, and podcasts.

Now, all the information we’ve accumulated is in one book: “Alton’s Antibiotics and Infectious Disease: The Layman’s Guide to Available Antibiotics in Austere Settings”

In “Alton’s Antibiotics and Infectious Disease”, we discuss:

  • How bacteria cause disease
  • How the immune system works to fight infection
  • Many different disease-causing organisms
  • Telling bacterial vs. viral disease
  • Common infectious diseases
  • Epidemic and pandemic diseases
  • How antibiotics work
  • Different antibiotic families
  • How to use antibiotics wisely
  • Issues with antibiotic resistance
  • Individual antibiotics and the diseases each one treats
  • Dosing, side effects, allergies, pregnancy and pediatric considerations
  • Expiration Dates
  • Establishing an epidemic sick room
  • Dealing with wound infections
  • Wound care
  • Supplies for the effective austere medic
  • Much more

A non-medical person having antibiotics on hand in disaster settings is considered controversial by the conventional medical wisdom, and for good reason. Yet, if there is no ambulance coming to render aid or hospital to treat the sick, you may become the end of the line with regards to the well-being of loved ones. Just as learning how to stop bleeding is important, learning about infection and the medicines that treat it will save lives in difficult times…

The supplies section of the book includes lists of contents for various medical kits: individual first aid kit (IFAK), family kit, dental tray, natural remedy supplies, up to and including a field hospital.

Related:

Breitbart: 80 Percent of Venezuelans Short of Food

Combined with chronic malnutrition, the report also points to the scale of the collapse of the country’s health system, with practically every major health condition ranging from tuberculosis to malaria reaching crisis levels. For example, the number of malaria cases has risen from 36,000 in 2009 to 406,000 in 2017, while 87 percent of HIV patients now do not receive their necessary drugs…Most of these conditions are going untreated, mainly due to a lack of necessary medical resources and trained specialists.

AMP-3 Is Blogging Again

AMP-3 is blogging again. Beth is feeling good and has completed all of her treatments. We’re glad to see her up and running again and hope to see Beth and David around these parts again soon. They are good people, running an excellent preparedness gear and training business.

My last Blog Post was in July and a lot has been happening for us since then and Amp-3 as well! I completed all of my Cancer Treatment the end of August! Yeah… Glad to have that in the rear view mirror. I am feeling great and the wonderful weather here in the Pacific Northwest lately has been a true blessing.

Click for AMP-3 blog.

The Medic Shack: Salmonella

Chuck over at the Medic Shack has another good, informative article up, this time about salmonella – how to treat it, how to avoid it, what to watch for.

Salmonella. Is it or is not not an emergency

Outbreak of Multi drug-Resistant Salmonella Infections Linked to Raw Chicken Products

That is the title on the CDC page a couple of weeks ago. Salmonella is bad enough by itself, but a multi drug resistant variety is worse.

Salmonella is a bacteria that is common in poultry. Its why people recommend to cook it completely to kill the bacteria. Salmonella infection is usually caused by eating raw or undercooked meat, poultry, eggs or egg products. The incubation period ranges from several hours to two days. Most salmonella infections can be classified as stomach flu (gastroenteritis). Possible signs and symptoms include:

• Nausea

• Vomiting

• Abdominal cramps

• Diarrhea

• Fever

• Chills

• Headache

• Blood in the stool

A good portion of people generally have no symptoms from salmonella infections. Others develop diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps within eight to 72 hours. Most healthy people recover within a few days without specific treatment.. However people younger than 5 and older than 70, people with depressed immune systems, or in a weakened state can get sicker or even die from it. As of October, Ninety-two people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Infantis have been reported from 29 states.

So what does this have to do with prepping. Or with survival? Oh I forgot to mention this current strain is multi drug resistant?

The major reason I want to talk about this is a lot of us buy in bulk. Some of us can it, some freeze. And some even freeze dry it. Any mistake in any of these methods can pack away some real bad news when we are at our weakest. Proper processing is a news letter for a different day. But back to salmonella. Salmonella is a huge concern for preppers. And now with a multi drug variant in the wild we need to take extra care…

In the modern world salmonella is rarely fatal. The elderly. Compromised immune system. Under 1 year old. Those are the groups that normally have the worst outcomes. And even then it is rare. Now add in poor living conditions. Exhaustion. Poor nutrition. Poor food prep. Hostile environment. You now have the recipe for disaster…

Ceftriaxone, amoxicillin or cephalosporin are decent antibiotics for salmonella. But a caveat needs to be inserted. They are good if it is a COMPLICATED case. That means if it has entered the blood stream and is causing Septicemia. Or has passed the blood brain barrier and entered the central nervous system. This is getting way out of the realm of a ditch medic. A MD, PA or NP is needed here.

Do not administer antibiotics to people suffering from uncomplicated cases. What happens, is studies show that a large relapse rate occurs. It can lengthen the time of how long a person is infectious. And has caused the resistant forms of it to appear. Also anti diarrhea meds like Imodium while slowing down the diarrhea can actually extend the time of the illness.

So is it food poisoning or is it viral?…

Click here to read the entire article at The Medic Shack.

California Wildfire Housing Crisis

In what could be a preview of they type of crisis that may be seen in the event of a CSZ earthquake in Washington or Oregon, California is facing a humanitarian crisis in the wake of recent wild fires. Tens of thousands have been evacuated from their homes and 26,000 Paradise residents are now homeless. Norovirus has broken out in three different evacuation shelters. Zero Hedge has consolidated information from several sources in “Situation Growing Worse With Every Passing Day”: Cali Wildfire Sparks New Housing Crisis.

Making things worse, norovirus has broken out in at least three evacuation shelters, requiring isolation tents to try and contain its spread.

As the Sacramento Bee notes – “the situation is growing worse with each passing day.”

Enafaye Nine-Rowe, a member of Chico California Conservation Corps, and California Air National Guard Sgt. Manghirmalani walk past an isolation tent at East Ave Church in Chico on Friday. Daniel Kim dkim@sacbee.com

This is on an order of magnitude beyond what we thought was one of the worst disaster recoveries we would be faced with,” said Kelly Huston, deputy director of governor Jerry Brown’s Office of Emergency Services.

After the Camp Fire erased most of the town of Paradise, destroying more than 9,800 residences, emergency services officials are dealing with what some say is an escalating humanitarian crisis with no quick solutions. Some evacuees will be able to return to unburned homes. Most, now hunkered in hotels, staying with family and friends, or stuck in evacuation centers or unauthorized camps, have no home to return to, and are left wondering where their future lies. –Sacramento Bee

“Wallywood”

Many residents have turned to makeshift communities where sanitation and safety are top concerns. In particular, hundreds of evacuees have been squatting at a camp in a Walmart parking lot, “a ramshackle village some inhabitants call Wallywood, a sardonic mash-up of their location and reduced circumstances,” reports the Bee.

Prepping for Brexit

Will Brexit (the British exit from the European Union) prove to be a learning event for preppers? Only time will tell if those stocking up for shortages post-Brexit will appear foolish when nothing happens, or if they will be sitting pretty while those around them scramble for the last can of sardines in the grocery. British food author Jack Monroe has written a piece on her blog about how she is preparing for Brexit by stockpiling food, and what and why she is storing. Here’s an excerpt from What (And Why) I’m Stockpiling For Brexit. She helpfully includes a limited amount of nutritional information for many of the items, though I am not familiar with the “grim” nutrient ascribed to dried cheese.

…I have just finished writing my next cookbook, Tin Can Cook, which I pitched to my publisher as ‘the post-Brexit apocalyptic cookbook’. I wasn’t joking. On news of its announcement a few weeks ago, it went straight into the Top Ten on Amazon. People emailed me asking what they should be stockpiling for Brexit. I filed their emails in a folder and put my head back in the sand.

And then yesterday, I cleared the shelves of my 20 foot outhouse in the garden. Today I went online to my Asda account, and ordered tins of food. Many, many tins of food. Because if you want to stockpile for Brexit, if you share my concerns about potential food shortages, lorries backed up on motorways, hold-ups at the borders, delays, rotting fruit and vegetables, and lesser availability of fresh food, you may have started stockpiling yourself. I have heard from many people who have been putting a tin or two to one side ‘just in case’.

I am writing this not to alarm anyone, and not to cause any kind of food crisis. To address some of the common criticisms of stockpiling; suddenly buying a lot of tinned tomatoes probably won’t make the price go up any more. Supermarkets are ridiculously competitive with one another about the prices on their basic items, and if you aren’t greedy, you should leave enough for everyone else. Supermarket ordering systems are reactive and reflective – I worked in a supermarket many years ago – and the stock adjusts according to buying patterns and popularity. Overstock is stored in a massive warehouse usually the size of the store itself. Stocking up now gives supermarkets time to replenish and recover their stock, so that come March, we won’t all be fighting over the same tin of tomatoes in the aisle. Hopefully.

In the event that all is fine and dandy and we were all just being cautious, well, hoorah for that. I’ll take the punch on the nose from the trolls who will crow that I was a paranoid leftwing remoaner – I’d rather be prepared than starving, after all. And if the stockpile isn’t needed, I’ll donate it to the Trussell Trust, and you can do the same. Or gradually munch your way through it and enjoy not having to spend any money on your food shop for a while! I mean, they’re tins, they’re hardly likely to go off…

Click here to read the entire piece at Cooking on a Bootstrap.

HHSS Turkey Shoot, Sat. Nov. 17th

sportsmanrangeHorse Heaven Sportsmen Society invites you to compete for your chance to win one of many Turkey and Ham Thanks Giving dinner.

The competition is for all age groups and fun for the entire family. We will shoot .22 Long Rifle from off hand standing position for your chance to win a complete Thanks Giving Meal.

Rifles and ammunition are provided. Bring your own .22’s (scoped rifles are restricted to 50yd targets only). Prizes awarded after each round.

Cost: $1 ages 16 & under, $2 for Adults (bring small bills if possible).

Hot BBQ Food and drinks served (donations gladly accepted).

Horse Heaven Sportsman RangeDump Road, Prosser, Washington 99350  

American Partisan: Ditch Medicine – Projectile Injuries

The medical staff at American Partisan has a short article out, Ditch Medicine: Projectile Injuries, talking about the relative futility of treating gunshot wounds in an austere environment. There are many people in the preparedness movement who are counting on their military tactical training to equip them for any offensive or defensive violence that they may encounter in an extreme disaster situation. They may not realize that modern military tactics rely on the long logistical tail not only for materiel but for medical response. Some tactics are taught, knowing that they will cause some casualties, but relying on rapid self-aid and quick evacuation to medical hospitals to keep loss of life low. And the US military medical establishing has made great strides in saving lives on the battlefield which previously would have resulted in death.  However, in an extreme disaster/SHTF/WROL/TEOTWAWKI situation, that rapid medical treatment will probably not be available to you. Tactics should be adjusted accordingly where possible.

Projectile injuries commonly present as gunshot wounds or fragmentation injuries. All missiles destroy tissue through tearing a hole called the permanent cavity. Injury also occurs by displacing, or stretching, tissue away from the projectile path much the way water moves away from a rock thrown in it; it’s a temporary cavitation effect. Can they be treated with the simple supplies available in an austere situation?

Sadly, the answer is mostly “no.”

Click here to continue reading at American Partisan.

Forward Observer: Left Wing Outlets Push “Abolish the Senate” Message

From Forward Observer, Left wing outlets push “Abolish the Senate” message:

“Abolish the Senate.”

There’s growing sentiment in left wing circles that to achieve fairness in politics, the Senate should be abolished. (I’ll explain how in a moment…)

This opinion’s been published in left wing outlets like ThinkProgress, GQ, Washington Post, Jacobin, and others.

It was trending on social media and has been featured on left wing blogs.

Last month, Hillary Clinton called for abolishing the Electoral College. Now many progressives want to dismantle one part of the system of checks and balances.

I continually provide evidence that the United States is in a high grade culture war and that we’ve already entered into a low grade domestic conflict.

And every time I second guess or have doubts about my conclusions, I look at just how far left the Left wants to push our society, politics, and the U.S. Government.

A growing number of them want to end the American system of governance as as know it.

Here’s their argument against the Senate

Click here to read the entire article at Forward Observer.

AYWTGS: 10 Kits to Put Together Today

Karen at A Year Without the Grocery Store has had to bug out three times, twice for riots and once for a tornado. She has enough to say about preparedness that she’s written a book and started a website. In the article, 10 Kits to Put Together Today to Be Ready for Tomorrow she talks about a variety of kits to have prepared so that you aren’t spending precious time rummaging around trying to find a light or cook stove.

1.) Where is the closest flashlight to you at this moment?

2.) Do you have an air filtration mask and could you put your hand on it in two minutes or less?

3.) What items do you have to keep your house cool and where do you keep them?

4.) If you had to remove stitches yourself, do you have the tools to do it?

5.) What’s your secondary method of communication?  Is it charged and ready?

So how did you do on the quiz?  Obviously, there’s no right or wrong answer.  The bigger question is  – could you answer each question.

Each of these things above is integral to preparedness.  Sometimes, we have these things – which is HUGE!  If you just have these things – high five!

More often than not though, if we have these things, we don’t know where they are.  So how do we organize things so that we KNOW that we KNOW where things are?

We develop kits!

Each kit is self-contained and is kept in tote.  For larger items, I keep them in large totes from Costco.  For smaller kits, I keep them in smaller totes which fit in the large Costco totes.   So what kinds of kits should we be putting together?  I’m going to be giving you a list of 11 kits.  I’m going to give you an overview here, but I’ll be doing a post on each of these so I can dive deeper.

Now there is one very well known kit that I am not including in this and it’s called a Bug out Bag or Grab and Go Bag or many other things.  A Bug Out Bag is for leaving the area, and we’ll cover that at some time.  These kits are all about what you are ready for at home.  So we’ll jump right in with kit #1.

Click here to read the entire article at A Year Without the Grocery Store.

Sparks31 Introduces Basic Grid-Down Communications Class

Sparks31 has introduced a new class which will debut in Watertown, CT – Basic Grid-Down/Down-Grid Communications (combined with his SIGINT class). Sparks will be bringing some classes to Washington state (including Yakima and Seattle) in 2019, and hopefully this class may be added to the lineup. Communication is critical in a disaster. Can you still communicate with those you need to if the internet and phone system go down?

This is a one-day class that covers all the basics you need to set up your monitoring post, collect signals intelligence (SIGINT), get on the air with amateur radio and personal communications services (FRS, GMRS, MURS, CB, Part 15), and establish communications networks and interoperability with other like-minded individuals.

Topics of instruction include the following:

  • Learning about Electronic Communications – A Primer
  • Communications Monitoring HF-to-UHF
  • Intelligence versus Information
    • Intelligence Requirements
  • SIGINT – Signals Intelligence
  • Listening Posts and SIGINT Operations
  • Communications Services
    • Amateur Radio
    • Part 95 & 15 (license-free or “license by rule” services)
  • Communications Networks
    • Interoperability – What it is, and how to make it work.
  •  Increasing System Performance
    • Antennas
  • Grid-Down versus Down-Grid Realities
  • Basic Crypto Systems and When It Is Legal to Use Them
  • Alternatives to Radio Communications
Cost for this class is $100. Please enroll via our storefront at https://squareup.com/store/sparks31/.

American Partisan: Is Your Group Missing Esprit de Corps?

American Partisan has a brief but good article up, One Critical Thing Your Group May Be Missing. Esprit de corps can be viewed as a group’s commitment, loyalty and attachment to each other and to their organization’s mission. A group with high esprit de corps and high member morale inspires individual members to execute their duties and responsibilities beyond expectations, leading to success reaching and exceeding the group’s goals. Individuals with high morale give their best service to the group. Confidence in the group’s cause, organization, leadership, methods and direction all contribute to individual high morale and, thus, group esprit de corps.

[W]hether regular organized units, survival groups, or guerrilla partisans resisting “enemies foreign and domestic,” the morale of the unit is almost as important as the combined unit skill sets. A less skilled, equipped unit with a high standard of motivation and sense of purpose can achieve as much as a well equipped, well trained, low morale unit. Throughout history, smaller ill prepared forces with a collective motivating goal have successfully hindered overwhelmingly superior forces that had less than ideal morale.

According to Harvard sociologist Alexander H. Leighton, “Morale is the capacity of a group of people to pull together persistently and consistently in pursuit of a common purpose.”

Click here to read the entire article at American Partisan.

Related:

American Partisan: Forming a Community Survival Group

FO: What Most People Get Wrong About Our ‘Civil War’

Sam Culper at Forward Observer has another piece in this series covering our ongoing domestic conflict, What most people get wrong about our ‘Civil War.’ It’s got some length to it, but it’s a good read with valuable information for you to understand.

…While a civil war, by definition, has not yet started, I do argue that a domestic conflict has already started (my specific thoughts are here, here, and here).

There are plenty of naysayers, and I understand their logic. They advise listeners or readers, “Go to your local Walmart or grocery store. Your local doctor’s office. Your local bank. Walk out your front door and talk to your neighbor.” They ask if Americans are at war with each other in these places, and use these anecdotes to explain that America isn’t locked into a civil war and won’t be.

They’re right in that regard. America isn’t at war.

But the problem with their argument is that it’s not all of America fighting the culture war, nor is it all of America fighting in the ongoing domestic conflict. It’s an ‘irate, tireless minority’. (The brunt of the ‘fighting’ in this conflict isn’t being waged by the average American, as two of my favorite thinkers people in the world — Victor Davis Hanson and Niall Ferguson — have alluded to. You can read my review of Ferguson’s latest book here.)

Another reason why most Americans — the overwhelming majority — aren’t engaged in our domestic conflict is because we’re still really early. Those engaged in establishing the battle lines of today’s culture war were ‘innovators’ in the 1990s. Those engaged in the culture war through the 2008 and 2016 elections were ‘early adopters’. But once the ‘early majority’ joins as soon as 2019-2021, the evidence of an active domestic conflict could be overwhelming. That’s a very distinct possibility.

My estimate is that we have maybe a few percent of the population pushing left or right extremes at the center of the culture war, but there’s an even smaller percentage (a fraction) that actually engages in political violence. There’s probably another 10 percent on either side actively engaged in political, information, and economic warfare. The remaining 75 percent is on the bubble, indifferent, or just plain stuck in the middle — a lot like other intra-state conflicts we’ve experienced.

So can we really have a domestic conflict with just a few thousand combatants?

Well, yeah. But we’re probably still very early.

To understand why we’re still in the beginning phases of our domestic conflict, we can look at three concepts…

Click here to read the entire article at Forward Observer.

Related:

The Organic Prepper: Are You Prepared for Lockdown? How to Stay Safe When All Hell Breaks Loose in America

…Add in the fiercely-fought midterm elections and the threat of civil unrest is high…

Strategic Culture Foundation: American Politics Is Now Just Civil War by Other Means

…Trump didn’t cause today’s polarization, he only exacerbates it because he punches back…

Monster Hunter Nation: The 2nd Amendment is Obsolete, Says Congressman Who Wants To Nuke Omaha

…We are so divided it’s like we are speaking two different languages. Hell, on this topic we are on two different planets. And it is usually framed with a sanctimonious left versus right, enlightened being versus racist hillbilly, unfailing arrow of history versus the knuckle dragging past sort of vibe…

American Partisan: Ditch Medicine – Medications

The medical staff at American Partisan have a good post up about medication, how long it stays effective on the shelf, and what you might want to have on hand in case of emergencies. Ditch Medicine: Medications.

Most oral medications are given a rather arbitrary expiration date which may vary depending on the manufacture date, sell date, or type of medicine and concern over poor storage environments at home. Some manufacturers of medications indicate their desire to have their medicines expire, because they want patients to have up to date information about the medicine on the newer packaging.

The Pentagon shelf-life extension program has shown that many medications are safe and completely effective many years after the expiration date listed on the product, especially if stored in a favorable environment.  This is also extensively supported with numerous articles found by looking up “Myth of Medication Expirations” on the internet.

Many drugs stored under favorable conditions retain over 90% of their potency for at least five years beyond the expiration date on the label, and sometimes much much longer. Ciprofloxacin, for instance, was found to be completely safe and effective when tested nearly 10 years after the expiration date. Some medications appear to be more stable and therefore retain a greater amount of potency after expiration; these seem to include Cipro, Flagyl, lidocaine, atropine and possibly the penicillins.

Some medications are more unstable and do have an expiration such as insulin, nitroglycerin, aspirin and water purification tablets. A disputed article in one publication suggests expired Tetracycline may have caused toxicity in one patient (personally I don’t believe it since I am sure millions of doses of expired tetracycline have been used in 3rd world countries with no other reported complications; also, that old formulation of tetracycline is no longer available anyway, so I would be willing to expired tetracycline if I needed the medication). I am not aware of any other expired antibiotics having this risk.

Preferred storage environments would be cool, dark, and dry. Blister packaged medications might be preferable because they are kept dry and are waterproof but have the disadvantage of being slightly more bulky. Tablets are typically more stable and therefore have longer storage life than do elixirs/liquids. Many medications may be ordered over the internet as pet medications. Quality controls for pet medications seem good and I would be willing to use them on myself in an emergency.

The below is a list of commonly encountered medications that you might want to know about, and I would recommend finding a drug dose reference book from a bookstore or the internet; sometimes you can find them very inexpensively from book sections at Christian/Salvation Army stores…

Click here to read the entire article at American Partisan.