Camping In Minimalist Form

Posted by on Aug 12, 2016 in Survival

camping
Image by tetue

 

 

I love camping as it allows us to get away from all the things that keep us in our materialistic lifestyles. The problem is that those materialistic things are marketed to us, the minimalists. Think about the last time you have gone camping and actually roughed it? That is what I thought, NEVER! Fact is most of us go camping and end up lugging all the “necessities” with us. We end up setting in the great outdoors surrounded by all of the luxuries we were hoping to escape. The truth is when it comes to the minimalist camping lifestyle allow yourself space to explore what it is like to go without. Prove to campers that over-packing is over rated and with the great outdoors being a minimalist is the only way to explore nature.

First things first, it is important that you remember camping is all about roughing it. When exploring the great outdoors consider adapting what nature offers to you and make so with it. The comforts of home are increasingly cumbersome when it comes to exploring nature. Don’t become the camper only interested in the latest gear. Be the camper that doesn’t get overwhelmed when they walk in to the camping retailer outlets. When camping camp with minimalistic expectations. Minimalist never consider walking around with more than they absolutely need. Extra gear to a camper who is truly in it for the experience is just clutter and waste.

Being a minimalist camper allot yourself a ten pound bag. More than that is an overkill. Your bag should only carry the bare minimum that is needed for you to be comfortable. In it pack clothing, extra shoes, bathing needs and anything you absolutely require. The basic rule in minimalist camping is that if you can’t pack it up in five minutes and carry it more than five minutes without wanting to set it down you have packed too much and you must lighten your load.

The next thing you need to consider is what you will need to survive comfortably at a campsite. Remember you need to keep in mind what you are able to carry in. As far as sleeping accommodations consider the size of the tent that you absolutely need. Only take what you need to sleep comfortably. You don’t need space for living and eating etc. As well as a tent to support the number of people sleeping you may also want to consider bringing a tarp along for incidentals. Keeping supplies dry is as important as keeping yourself dry.

When it comes to sleeping you will need one sleeping bag per person. If you are considering packing only a lightweight sleeping bag make sure that you have packed layers for sleeping clothing. Speaking of clothing, consider the fact that camping is about the experience and not what you are wearing. Consider wearing the same outfit more than once. When utilizing this technique it is important to use deodorant as well as layers of clothing to change as the temperatures change. Underwear can be reused with a quick cleansing using the soap and water or a river and they can dry in the sun.

Cooking and finding food is a bit more complex with minimalist camping. One small stove burner, propane and pan is really all you need to survive in the great outdoors. This along with a survival knife, some paracord and fire starter will prepare one heck of a meal. Consider packing some dry food goods as well as some cans of food, this along with the food that you hunt or fish for is the perfect combination for camping.

It is amazing what you don’t need when you camp. Camping is all about the experience and enjoying everything nature has to offer. It is important that you realize that survivalists have lived years without the conveniences that we now enjoy. Consider the minimalist approach on your next camping trip.

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Take A Knife With You On Your Next Outdoor Adventure

Posted by on Jul 10, 2016 in Survival

knives
Image by CapCase

 

It is almost that time a year again when we all start to think about getting out into the great outdoors once again. Whether your passion is hunting, hiking, camping, kayaking, fishing or one of the many other adventures that come with warm weather it is wise to start thinking about purchasing a knife you can carry with you. A knife is an all-purpose tool that can be used for safety, but for a variety of everyday tasks as well. For an inexperienced shopper it can be an intimidating undertaking without a little knowledge of knives to take with you.

There are a multitude of knife styles to choose from starting with fixed blade knife. A fixed blade knife is one of the sturdiest, most durable styles of knives. A fixed blade knife can easily be carried using a sheath attached to a boot or belt. This style of knife is great for any outdoors man but is especially helpful to paddlers and survivalists as it is incredibly handy. It can be released from its sheath in a hurry allowing cord, webbing or small brush to be cleared instantly.

Another style of knife is the folding blade knife. Most folding knives have a locking mechanism in place to ensure that the knife doesn’t release unexpectedly. Folding knives come in a variety of lengths and offer a great deal of versatility. Small folding knives, such as pocket knives are easily carried whereas larger folding knives can be stored easily in a pack. Some claim that the folding blade is not as durable as a fixed blade knife however with all the latest developments in knife technology this is highly debatable. Fixed knife blades also can include multiple tools that easily fold into themselves giving you a variety of easy to use tools. This is great for bikers as you never know when you will need a wrench or screwdriver out of the trails.

Blade type is also something to consider when purchasing a knife. There are three basic styles to choose from including: straight blades, serrated blades and a combination. As with anything each blade type has advantages and disadvantages.

A straight blade knife is a super nice tool as it is easy to sharpen and keep an edge on. Straight knife blades are great for cutting and make any meal easier especially when hiking or camping. Serrated edges have teeth built into the blade, much like a saw blade but not as enhanced. The teeth make this blade much easier to cut through bone, rope and limbs. It is also much more difficult to sharpen. A combination blade offers the advantages of both styles. The activity that you are partaking in should be considered when choosing a blade type.

The good thing about purchasing a knife is that it is a versatile tool that does not have to break the bank. You can purchase several knives and depending on the activity you are embarking on choose what to carry with you.

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Using Parachute Cord in Survival Situations

Posted by on Jun 22, 2016 in Survival

parachuteImage by Serhio Magpie

One of the strongest and most useful materials known to man is parachute cord. Used to secure the lines and harness of a parachute to the person that is being safely lowered to the ground, the cords that hold a massive load of weight and can stand up to the pressure of being pulled and tugged, are making their way into the fashion world. Making paracord collars and parachute cord bracelets that can be worn casually in any setting, a number of people are discovering the trendy fashion statement that is sweeping the nation. But fashion is not the only things that people are buying the parachute bracelets for.

Using the heavy duty cord to escape from a number of dangerous situations there are individuals that keep a supply of parachute cord near them at all times. Never knowing when they will need to lash together a shelter or even use the strength of the parachute cord for their survival, bracelets that are woven out of the machined material can be quickly unwound and used to help people that find themselves in a number of awkward situations. Due to the strength of the fabric there are a number of military personnel that have found many different practical uses for the cords that are intended to secure a parachute.

Being able to be woven into a rope, the cord is strong enough to tow a vehicle or come in handy when securing a lean to for shelter. Armed with a survival bracelet that has been made from parachute cord, campers and hunters have the ability to survive in situations when they are forced to make camp in the middle of nowhere and await the help of a rescue team. As Shelter is a number one priority for survivalists, it is important that the people who spend any amount of time in the outdoors be equipped with an easy to carry and practical tool that can provide them with a number of different resources for their continued existence.

Although they are designed to be a fashion statement, many people that enjoy roughing it in the outdoors are purchasing the parachute cord bracelets that are being custom created for the individual buyer. Choosing their own color combinations and sizing that will fit their own wrist some people are investing in their own survival by ordering pet collars that are constructed of the paracord fibers.

Allowing them to go out with their dog or cat and have access to the uses of the parachute cord material, if the need should arise, individuals that have a military background are making the most of their training by ensuring that if they ever get stuck they can use their pets, paracord collar to help them survive in the wilderness until help arrives.

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Where Did Walkers Come From? The Works That Made The Walking Dead

Posted by on Jun 6, 2016 in doomsday, Survival

zombieImage by D Simmonds

AMC’s The Walking Dead has become a cultural phenomenon, a standout in a decade dominated by zombie fiction, which honestly comes as no surprise considering its depiction of strong multidimensional characters. Now, much to everyone’s excitement, a companion series, Fear the Walking Dead has just premiered through multiple providers, such as DirecTV and Dish, and is hungry for our brains – and viewership. Our obsession with zombies may seem like a recent trend, but it’s been building ever since the debut of George Romero’s seminal film Night of the Living Dead in 1968.

 

Many may not realize this but the undead didn’t become the undead through viruses or failed experiments at first. Zombies have their origins in Haitian voodoo folklore, as corpses reanimated by black magic, and made their film debut in the 1932 Bela Lugosi vehicle White Zombie as thralls to an evil sorcerer. Night of the Living Dead changed the conception of zombies to harbingers of the apocalypse, and was seen by many as a commentary on the brutal carnage of the Vietnam War, as well as an America in conflict with itself. In subsequent films, Romero used zombies to explore social themes like consumerism, slavery and exploitation. His work inspired countless other directors, including such notables as Sam Raimi, Peter Jackson, and Lucio Fulci.

 

Since Romero’s positioning of the zombie as an unexplained and mindless occurrence, filmmakers have used it as a sort of blank slate for satire and thematic exploration. Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later took a closer look at a culture obsessed with violence in the post 9/11 world. Edgar Wright’s hilarious Shaun of the Dead drew telling comparisons between the walking dead and the masses stuck in repetitive and banal working lives because, let’s face it. Many of us are mindless zombies in our own offices. Romero has continued his work in the genre, using Land of the Dead as a commentary on class and income disparity, and Diary of the Dead as an examination of the craze over viral videos on the Internet as well as our obsession with the Internet itself.

 

One of the reasons the genre continues to generate popular content is its potential for creating conflicts among survivors. During a zombie apocalypse, teamwork among the living is crucial to survival, and those with certain skills and personality types tend to fare better. The most chilling aspects of stories like The Walking Dead are not the horrors perpetrated by the zombies themselves, but the atrocities committed by desperate humans in the name of self preservation, including cannibalism, rape, and unprovoked murder. The response by government and military organizations in the face of a zombie outbreak is often depicted as weak, slow, or even ineffectual, reflecting our fears about the inherent failings in the institutions we trust to protect us and figure out the next steps.

 

Modern works take the concept even further, into the realms of comedy and action. The wildly successful Zombieland uses clever dialogue and sharply drawn characters to bring a great deal of humor to an otherwise morbid concept. An example of action-packed zombie films is the thriller World War Z, which introduces the terrifying idea of zombies who think and act very quickly, and collaborate to achieve their goals.

 

There has been a rapid escalation of violent content in all creative media recently. Fifteen years ago, shows like The Walking Dead and Hannibal (both of which you can catch on demand via Vudu and DirecTV offers) would have been far too gory and disturbing for broadcast television; now they are the norm and for some sick, twisted reason, we love it! The surging popularity of zombie fiction has lined up perfectly with our new-found thirst for blood. Related works like The Zombie Survival Guide and the survival horror game H1Z1 allow us to drop ourselves into the zombie apocalypse and test our survival instincts and skills or lack thereof.

 

While it seems unlikely that the current high output rate of zombie fiction will continue for much longer as many themes and stories have been played out already, we certainly haven’t seen the last of it. Set at the very start of the outbreak, Fear the Walking Dead promises to be an emotional and wrenching experience. As long as creative minds find new ways to make use of them, these shambling, lurching corpses will be terrorizing audiences for years to come.

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The True Story Behind Reality TV

Posted by on Jun 5, 2016 in Survival

televisionImage by dailyinvention

Reality TV has been the staple television programming for numerous networks for quite a few years now. Just set up some hidden cameras or a discreet film crew and film. The blend of real life drama and cheap production cost make it a win-win situation for viewers and producers alike.

However, given the instant fame that it brings the reality TV contestants, can we even assume that these are everyday, regular people? And, to heighten the drama, can we trust that the producers won’t manipulate story line?

It can be argued that Mark Burnett created the reality TV phenomena with the grand daddy of them all, Survivor. The concept was simple enough: in a micro environment, who was best fitted to survive the group dynamics and the environment. Logically speaking, you’d think the best outdoor survivalists would win. However, in cases more often than not, it’s the person who best plays the players that win. So is this representative of a real life emergency situation that you’d shun the nicest people and those who are actually capable of fending for themselves in the outdoors?

Stripping down of the external hardships, Big Brother is another non-scripted show that makes you wonder if people really behave this way. Stuck inside a house and bored out of their minds, we spy from the hidden cameras that the contestants have nothing better to do than to plot the demise of one of their own. For this game, the ability to wheel and deal, forge alliances and backstab is the route to victory.

If you have ever noticed, reality TV contestants are also generally pretty good looking. This probably is not a true reflection of the office slobs that the general public has to deal with. However, one thing is for certain, genetically gifted people are given the leg up for at least being casted in the show. The work is probably a godsend for struggling actors and models trying to get a break. And no doubt that they are probably all about getting screen time by creating drama for the benefit of the producers watching behind their hidden spy cameras.

So, is reality TV real, and is it just a microcosm of everyday life? Yes and no. It is a fact that good looking people will get ahead in the world. However, people do tend to want to live in harmonious situations. But all this changes when your livelihood and self preservation is at stake. Once threatened, all civility goes out the window. The situation is the same when there’s a promotion or something else that will help you advance your status in life. Therefore, don’t be surprised by backstabbing coworkers in the corporate world. While the audience can watch the contestants every move with hidden cameras, we don’t have this luxury in the workplace. Maybe reality TV can teach us something after all.

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The Essence of Ninjutsu

Posted by on May 14, 2016 in Survival

ancient japanImage by campra

The ninja were a group of assassins and spies who fought and hunted in the mountainous regions of Japan. This group was made of a collection of fundamental survivalists who created and practiced many survival techniques. This survival group propagated many legendary myths about themselves, which instilled great fear into their enemies. Those myths still exist today, reinforced by the popular movies like ‘Teenage Ninja Turtles’ and ‘Elektra’.

The ninja symbol is the character “nin,” which means endurance, tolerance, and strength. The pictograph of a knife above a heart represents self-discipline.

The Early history of the Ninja

Practitioners credit the origins of the art to En No Gyoja, a warrior monk who set up a training camp in the Togakure mountain range. The sect existed in isolation for 500 years until 1165, when Daisuke Nishina, a clan member, ran away to the Iga province. There he came under the tutorage of Kain Boshi, a mystic warrior and monk, which greatly influenced his training, adding esoteric philosophies to his fighting and tactical guerrilla skills.

Ninjas Versus the Samurai

In its original form, the art was geared to the needs of the assassin, with a large emphasis on concealment, infiltration, and spying. Opportunities for employment among the ninja peaked during medieval times, when warring factions became better organized and the need for unconventional battle tactics became vital to success.

It is a widely held misconception that the ninja were sworn enemies of the samurai. In fact, many were also samurai who took on assassination jobs or gathered intelligence for opposing samurai clans as a way to raise their status and financial wealth. They actually share many of the same techniques for fighting. However, there were many battles between them, largely instigated by warlords who had gathered samurai militia and felt threatened by the ninja’s expertise in destabilizing power bases.

Teaching and training in Ninjitsu

In the past, the art of ninjutsu was practiced and taught in a strict code of secrecy from master to disciple, and teaching as a profession was discouraged by the ninja until quite recently.

Today, there are many different schools of ninjutsu, the majority of which teach skills that originated from samurai fighting arts: spiritual refinement, armed and unarmed combat, explosives training, stealth, water training, military strategy, escape, horsemanship, espionage, geography, and meteorology.

Principles of Ninjutsu

Ninjutsu’s basic tenets are summed up in a poem, probably composed by a warrior known as Yamabushi.

The Essence of Ninjutsu

My parents are the heaven and earth,
My home is my body,
My power is my loyalty,
My magic is my training,
My life and death is breathing,
My body is control,
My eyes are the sun and the moon,
My ears are sensitivity,
My laws are self protection,
My strength is adaptability,
My ambition is taking every opportunity with fullness,
My friend is my mind,
My enemy is carelessness,
My protection is right action,
My weapons are everything that exists
My strategy is one foot in front of
the other,
My way is ninjutsu.

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