Not Carrying a Knife for Wilderness Survival

On a recent walkabout, one of the students asked where my knife was. I paused the walk, turned towards the group and said, “I don’t have one”

“You mean you forgot it?” the student asked

“No, I mean I don’t carry one.” I replied while I noticed his riding on his hip. As I looked about, I noticed others had their knives on them as well, not all but some.

“Not even when you’re in the outdoors?” another asked

I guess I must not be following the mold of what an outdoors person is supposed to have or not have when hiking along.

“Actually, no. Outside of teaching classes which involve the use of a knife, like carving, cutting and sharpening, I don’t carry a knife at all.” I responded.

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Wild Plant Scout Trip 17JAN17

I set out earlier today on a scout of one of my favorite local haunts. It’s an area I frequently conduct classes at. The area is a riparian zone and very rich with a diverse flora.

I entered the dirt parking lot and noticed three other vehicles parked, but no one around. I gathered they were on a hike along the trail that parallels the creek.

Exiting the vehicle I heard a sound I’ve never heard there before, the sound of a roaring river. No way, I thought, as I walked over to what was supposed to be a creek. The creek was a roaring river. The area in the photo is typically a dribble, very easily crossed by stepping on small stones to get across; not today, however.

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Check, Call, Care The 3 Steps of Survival

Anyone who’s ever taken a Red Cross CPR course has undoubtedly heard of Check, Call, Care. It is the foundation for dealing with a true survival situation.

Though many people dislike him, Bear Grylls has a similar survival philosophy, granted it is not exactly the same. Regardless, his emphasis is the same. Grylls approach is Protection, Rescue, Water, and Food. Protect yourself from immediate danger—exposure, animals, injuries, etc. Signal for rescue and finally keep hydrated and fed until rescue arrives.

So, how can Check, Call, Care be expanded into our wilderness adventure plans? It’s actually very easy.

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My EDC

It is difficult to quantify the perfect EDC. Our ever changing lifestyle is a big factor in what determines the perfect EDC. In essence, the perfect EDC is dynamic and fluid, never right and never wrong.

I’ve always been very reserved speaking about my EDC. Several years ago, however, I made a video of what I EDC’ed at the time. Like anything else you publish online, it was met with some criticism, but meh, I wasn’t bothered by it. It was based on what I was doing on a daily basis, it served it’s purpose. As time went on, interests and jobs changed, so did my EDC. My EDC changed dynamically to meet the needs of that new interest or job. Often times I would take things out or add things in, but there was

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Joshua Tree Day Trip

Joshua Tree is unlike anything you’ve ever seen. Visiting there feels like you’ve landed on another planet. At least that’s the feeling I have every time I visit, today was no different.

I headed out early this morning for a meet and greet with one of the directors of Joshua Tree and to recon the area I will be teaching a two day survival course in March.

The drive there was uneventful. The rolling hills coming into Cherry Valley were already turning green, a welcome sight. San Gorgonio Mountain was covered in snow which made for a picturesque backdrop.

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Zen Action Steps for a more Enjoyable Hike

The beginning of any new year is always filled with well intended resolutions. Kicking off the new year with a nice hike through the woods is certainly good food for the soul.

Before you set out on your hike, here are some Zen action steps you can use to really help make your hike more enjoyable.

Do not consume alcohol the night before— There is nothing worse than attempting to go hike with a hangover, no matter how minor it is. If you drink, you might actually talk yourself out of going the next day. Cloudiness and being hungover keep you from being in the moment.

Watch what and how much you eat— Eating too much or the wrong kinds of food

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2017 Spring has Begun in Southern California

Yesterday, Jan 2, I went on my first hike of the year. And while much of the country is still seasonally dormant, Southern California is coming alive.

I often kid with people and tell them SoCal has only two seasons, green and brown. For the most part, it seems to be true. Our green season can begin as early as December, when the first good rain fall typically begins. Often times, by Late March and April many areas begin turning brown. I guess one could say some of SoCal begins it’s Spring in December and it’s Summer by April. In the area I enjoy, February is peak Spring. [I digress]

The day was beautiful. The ominous clouds set a backdrop stark in contrast to what we are used to—Sunny Days.

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2016 A Year of Change

With 2016 firmly in the rear view mirror, I look forward to the road that is 2017.

Like anything else, we are in a constant state of change, even if it means all some of us are doing is sitting on the couch, staring at the clock, and watching the seconds slip by. How we choose to pass the time determines our path and helps shape our personal growth. Sometimes decisions and actions must be made which help clear the road for that growth. Often times, however, those decisions and action can be divergent from everyone else, or even evolved from some of your own long held beliefs.

It is no mystery I have a far different, even controversial at times, wilderness survival and preparedness philosophy than the community as a whole. And though we share the desire for the same end result—stay alive—in order to be true to myself, I’ve had to carve my own unfettered path, free of biases and ideologies.

November 2015 would be the last time I logged into facebook, spending just enough time there to hit the account delete button

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The Survival Expert Paradox

With so many variables in play, the idea of survival expert has always made me cringe. To call yourself a survival expert has always made me feel you’re a jackass. Oh and be sure I’ve had more than my fair share of encounters with you survival donkeys.

I recently came across an article [here] on the Survival Sherpa website succinctly describing the relation between survival and expert:

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My buddy Tommy runs a popular Facebook group and put an interesting spin on this disturbing online trend… something I’d never thought of but makes total sense.

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Biased Assimilation and Your Survival

Ah, yes, Biased Assimilation. That polarization which occurs when your beliefs become your religion and any new contradicting evidence is ignored, or twisted in a way which supports your beliefs.

This election cycle, actually all election cycles, proved biased assimilation is alive and well. Biased assimilation is that cerebral disorder which prevents us from being objective. If we have a firm belief in one party over the other, because of biased assimilation, we tend to follow news and events which favor that party, and dismiss news and organizations which may contradict our views, regardless if they are correct. Of course, this biased assimilation is not only reserved for politics. Every segment of society, including bushcraft and survival, suffers from it. Biased Assimilation, is that fault which makes people look like idiots. It is that fault which prevents people from being objective and take in new information

As an example, It is a well known fact people in the survival community hold in high reverence the ferrocerium rod (ferro rod). So convinced are they the ferro rod is the epitome emergency fire starting tool, they are quick to dismiss or make excuses for its shortcomings. Often times, they will attack and dismiss the more common and easier to use every day items in defense of their precious ferro rod.

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